The proposed regional flags and emblems were presented at the inaugural meeting of the National Regional Development Consultative Committee (NRDCC). The occasion presented an opportunity to discuss how to move forward with the designs of the flags and emblems.
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan, explained that the intention is to start displaying the flags and emblems at government’s buildings across the regions for public discourse and feedback.
“What is going to happen from here on is that these flags which are specimen, will be displayed at all of the Ministry of Communities buildings and at all of the Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) buildings. They would also be displayed at Parliament Square and would also be publicised during the Mashramani celebration,” the minister explained.
The minister said that consultations with stakeholders in the regions will discuss the flags, emblems and renaming the regions. He is hoping to have the consultations completed within the next four months.
“The work plan that we have is that the RDCs have to work to ensure the completion of those consultations and discussions to arrive at a point, where they can make a resolution on whether the region would keep their existing name for now or move to a different name; and whether they will adopt the specimen of the flag and arrive at the symbol that would be part of that flag,” the minister explained
The minister pointed out that the decision would either be yes, no or later but, the RDCs will be expected to make a decision and they would have the opportunity out of a consultative process to identify what would be the desire of the region.
The regional emblems along with the renaming of the ten administrative regions are part of the government’s efforts to foster regional empowerment and pride.
Noting that the Parliamentary Opposition has opposed these efforts, Bulkan said that the administration will not be deterred. He noted that it is now consistent for the opposition, not to embrace the role of the regions and the need for strong regions. “This administration has a vision for meaningful local administration and in this regard the concept of strong regions is essential and this is what brings us to the need and necessity for each region to have their own flag symbol and standards,” the minister said.
The minister reiterated that the flags presented are “not cast in stone” but are meant as specimen that may or may not be changed depending on the need arising from the discussions that would take place in the communities.
All the colours of the regional flags are from the National Flag. The symbol on each regional flag denotes something that is famous to the respective region.
The NRDCC was held at the Marriot Hotel on Friday, January 20, 2016. The objectives of the NRDCC was to; promote greater communication and collaboration among the local democratic organs, to develop guidelines for finance committees of local democratic organs and, to promote regional development through networking among regional, national and multi-national stakeholders.
By: Macalia Santos | GINA