20 April 2013

Project for the Implementation of Administrative Decentralisation and Local Government in Bobonaro district

ETLJB - On 10 and 11 April, Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão visited Bobonaro district for the second time to disseminate the Project for the Implementation of Administrative Decentralisation and Local Government.

Bobonaro District Administrator Domingos Martins gladly welcomed the visit of the Prime Minister, whose objective was to inform the local population on the administrative decentralisation and local government policy, as well as on the plan to establish municipalities throughout the entire Timorese territory.

“We have been waiting for, and are ready to receive, the establishment of municipalities. As a matter of fact, this subject was already spoken about in 2006, at a time when the Government intended to approve the Decentralisation and Local Government policy. At that time, Bobonaro district was one of the pilot-districts in the process of consultation on so important matters such as territorial unity, property and real estate issues, the name for the new municipality, and the administrative headquarters. We trust that new municipalities will be created in Timor-Leste, even against several challenges”, Domingos Martins advocated.

The Secretary of State for Administrative Decentralisation, Tomás Cabral, reiterated the fact that Decentralisation Policy has started in 2003 with the I Constitutional Government, with Bobonaro district being the pilot-project. But he also said that the consultation to take place will not confine itself to the district capital. Instead, it will be extended to the sub-districts, for these are emerging potentialities for development together with the administrative dimension.

Xanana Gusmão spoke of the “priority of the Government as regards the functioning of the State institutions and of the preparations for the implementation of the Administrative Decentralisation and Local Government Policy, which provides for the establishment of municipalities in the 13 districts in accordance with Law no. 11/2009 of 7 October. This policy paves the way for the development of the private sector in the rural areas by promoting the consolidation of State institutions”.

“I would like to call upon you to think of the level of life of the population of Bobonaro, whether the population in Bobonaro is ready or not ready for the establishment of municipalities, because for one to establish municipalities one requires infrastructures, education and health, which are equally important for the development of Bobonaro district”, the Prime Minister said.

Bobonaro district has 1,368 square kilometers, with 50 sucos and approximately 93,800 inhabitants. The main economic activities are subsistence agriculture within family businesses, livestock, rice and coffee with a potential of economic development in the areas of tourism and specialised food crops, trade with West Timor, rice and corn. Source: Government of East Timor 12/04/2013 Reposted by Warren L. Wright

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