Liberia Institute of Architects Renews Call for Act Passage into Law

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Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh, [email protected]

Monrovia – The leadership of the Liberia Institute of Architects (LIA) has renewed calls for the passage into law of an act establishing the institution.

When passed into law, the Act, which is expected to contain high standards of professional ethics and code of conducts, will serve as an umbrella organization for all qualified Liberian architects.

Its membership will include all registered Liberian architectural engineers in the country, who are duly registered and certified by the institute.

The LIA made the call at the induction ceremony of its newly elected officials over the weekend in Monrovia.

In his induction speech, LIA new president, Sylvanus O’Conner, pledged his administration’s commitment to negotiate with the Legislature for the passage of the Act and called on the support of the public including government’s ministries and agencies in this endeavor.

O’Conner also stated that under his watch, LIA will pursue its interests and raise awareness through a working relationship with the administration of the University of Liberia to establish a Department of Architecture at the state-run university.

“The LIA acknowledges that there is a need to strengthen it to hold its members accountable. This will be possible if LIA is created by law,” Mr. O’Conner said.

He stressed that architects play a major role in society and as such there is a need to ensure they get all the necessary supports, especially at a time that Liberia, like many African and developing countries is experiencing  population explosion and high growth of urban population.

Serving as guest speaker, the Deputy Minister for Technical Services at the Ministry of Public Works, Claude E. Langley, pointed out that the lack of monitoring and supervision system is one the problems facing the sector and pledged the Ministry’s willingness to work with the LIA in instituting standards to ensure best architectural practices in Liberia.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the outgoing president, Adolphus McCrity, noted that it is shame for Liberia to be the only country in the world to not have an institute of architects established by law despite.

He called on the new leadership not to give up in pursuing the Legislature to pass the act in to law.

It can be recalled that Grand Bassa County Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence in 2016 submitted the Liberian Institute of Architects Act to the Senate to be enacted into law.

According to Senator Karnga-Lawrence, the purpose of the Act is to protect, promote, provide educational training and research in the art and silence of architecture and its related disciplines of the industry in Liberia.

Meanwhile, the induction ceremony was graced by top government officials including Hon. Varney Sirleaf, Minister of Internal Affairs and Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, President of the University of Liberia.

Minister Sirleaf stressed that the LIA is an integral partner in the national development drive and pledged his ministry’s support towards the institution’s quest in petitioning the Legislature to pass the LIA Act.

Dr. Weeks disclosed that plans are underway for the creation of the Departments of Climate Change and Architecture at the University of Liberia; noting that the two departments will work hand in hand in implementing climate change mitigation programs and ensuring structures that will be designed are resilient to changes in the climate and at the same change the face of major cities and towns in Liberia.

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