Policymakers and local government officials debate decentralization policies at “Viavathi Raajje” forum

Viavathi Raajje conference | Photo: PO

Malé, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih hosted the “Viavathi Raajje” conference on Friday to provide the opportunity to review the existing structures and find avenues for improvement following the most recent amendments to the Decentralisation Act. It also offers an opportunity for the administration to confer its policies to ensure good governance.

President Solih invited city council mayors, island council presidents, and presidents of Women’s Development Committees from the central atolls for the second edition of the conference. He is joined at the conference by government ministers, policy executives from the President’s Office, and technical experts from various institutions.

President Solih signed the eighth amendment to the Decentralisation Act into law on December 15, 2019, at the first edition of the “Viavathi Raajje” conference, authorising more fiscal and legal autonomy for local councils. He is hosting the second edition of the meeting in Ukulhas Island, the first to be held following the amendment’s ratification.

The two-day conference features four sessions with presentations and discussions on various topics, including fiscal and legal autonomy, formulating land-use plans, the role of WDCs, crime prevention, social welfare, and climate resilience. It also allows the council and WDC representatives to present their concerns to the President and discuss solutions.