Vanuatu Non-Government Organization (VANGO) Has A New Board Of Directors

VANGO had suffered a sharp decline in its work since 2010 due to malpractice and bad governance, revived temporarily in December 2013

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, September 29, 2017) – The Vanuatu Non-Government Organisation (VANGO) has a new Board of Directors.

The Board was elected at VANGO's Annual General Meeting at the Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF) Conference room in Port Vila yesterday.

Veteran civil society activist, Mr Lai Sakita, was elected as the new President of the revived institution. Mr Sakita is not new to the position. He survived six terms in office in the early stages of the establishment of VANGO.

His team members of the board are all very active members of their respective organisations. Ms Shirley Abraham was elected Vice chairperson; Mr Amos Kalo is the new treasurer, assisted by Ms Anne Pakoa, with Harold Obed as Secretary and Nasuven Enares as Vice Secretary of the board.

The transparent election process was coordinated by the VANGO Taskforce, facilitated by a former Vango Secretary General Mr Henry Vira. In his presentation, Mr Vira clarified that legal advice obtained from the Attorney general’s Office is that the positions of secretary general and board members were null and void – prompting the need for a new board.

VANGO had suffered a sharp decline in its work since 2010 due to malpractices and bad governance. The institution was revived temporarily in December 2013. However, quite recently, relationships between CSOs who formed VANGO have become sour with cooperation and interactions declining.

The government then intervened, by way of addressing the issue of the ineffectiveness of VANGO and re-storing the institution to its full potential establishing a seven-member VANGO Taskforce whose role was to provide guidance and oversight on the re-establishment and re-institutionalization of this institution. This VANGO Taskforce was chaired by the Third Political Adviser of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Mr Billy Williams.

Following the election of the new Vango board, Vango new President Sakita vowed to ensure Vango perform as an umbrella institution for all CSOs and to achieve its aims and objectives as expected by its members and stakeholders. “Thank you for the trust by electing me and my new board. One of our priority tasks now is to revamp the institution to its full potential to perform its roles and responsibilities as the umbrella institution for all CSOs stakeholders” he said.

A satisfied chairman of the VANGO Taskforce and Third Political Adviser to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Billy William said the election of the new Vango Board of Directors, brings to completion the main task shouldered by his committee. “The election of the new board now supersedes the function of the Taskforce”, he told members.

Government’s Senior Policy Analyst, Armstrong Masanga assured that the government had performed its role to provide oversight on the re-establishment and re-institutionalization of Vango because it regards NGOs as a means though which the gap between citizens’ needs and existing services can be bridged to complement Government services. .

Mr Masanga echoed sentiments by the chairman of the Task Force Mr William that Government is only responding to calls from the CSO, NGO community and now that the formalisation of the board has been completed, the Task Force, nor the government, will leave VANGO to conducts its own affairs and continue to provide an enabling environment with which NGOs could operate effectively in communities and also at National and Provincial level.

A total of 126 organizations were registered last year with the NGO Desk established under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, many of which are scattered in the islands but only 38 complied with legal requirements on time to be able to vote at the institution’s AGM.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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