ACED,ADC & ASEZA Sign an MoU to Establish a Voluntary Team for Aqaba’s Old Town
ADC Signs an MoU to Establish a Voluntary Team of Residents for Aqaba’s Old Town District
The Aqaba Development Corporation (ADC), the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority, and the Aqaba Community and Economic Development Program signed a memorandum of understanding that will establish a voluntary team of residents who will play an integral part in the planning and development of the old town’s district.
The establishment of this team is part of ADC’s policy to involve local residents in outlining the needs and requirements for their districts, and ensuring that all development projects fall in line with what they believe to be the main priorities.
ADC’s CEO Eng. Emad Najib Fakhoury said: “ADC believes in the importance of enhancing public participation in the decision making process with regards to the development of the old town’s district, which we will achieve by providing residents with the opportunity to share with us their opinions about the needs for their district and setting priorities for projects.”
He added: “A voluntary team of the old town’s district contributed to the Social and Economic Reality study conducted by ADC, in cooperation with the Jordan River Foundation, which helped to identify the district’s needs. This participation reflects Jordan’s democratic climate.”
Al Fakhoury explained: “Our decision to activate the team comes as part of our belief in encouraging local residents to get involved and play a key role in the development of Aqaba. We believe this will encourage initiatives and local participation, enhance the level of cooperation and generate a positive and supportive atmosphere going forward. The voluntary team’s contribution to developing and serving the district plays a significant role in supporting ADC’s public plans to develop the old town.”
Mr. Saleh Al Kilani, the economic development and investment commissioner, pointed out that this initiative comes as part of ASEZA’s efforts to find active means for the local society to participate in specifying needs and identifying priorities. He also explained that the authority seeks to implement a program for establishing voluntary teams that will participate in improving districts all over Aqaba. This program is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development and represented by the Aqaba Community and Economic Development Program.
The program aims to increase residents’ participation in taking decisions with regard to their own needs, and in order to enhance their capabilities and skills so that they can benefit from the increased opportunities available in the ASEZ which will improve their economic, social and cultural reality.
Mr. Larry Hearn, the Director of Aqaba Community and Economic Development Program which is funded by USAID, said: “This step seeks to support ASEZA’s efforts in increasing local participation in the decision making process. A public meeting will be held to identify the residents’ utmost priorities and select the voluntary team members who will represent the district, and work with all other participants in order to turn the district’s needs into projects that will be implemented according to priority.”Mr. Hearn went on to say, “The voluntary team will draw maps of the district’s key assets, create a special vision for the district, turn the district’s needs into suggested projects, and implement those projects according to priorities that will be decided by a referendum held amongst the residents. The next stage will see the creation of an executive plan for the project, which will be implemented in cooperation with all relevant participants in accordance with the nature of the project.”