Africa needs to reform its public service for effective service delivery to citizens, officials and experts said at a panel session on Saturday.
“We must address African public sector challenges adequately through reforms to ensure economic growth and accelerate development,” said Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD Agency
“The public sector is a key component of the economy, and it plays a major role in economic growth and development of any country. If Africa ignores its public sector, the continent won’t achieve its development agenda,” he said.
Dr Mayaki was speaking at a panel session of the Ibrahim Governance Weekend in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. The Ibrahim Governance Weekend is the flagship event of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, held every year in a different African country.
This three-day event convenes prominent African political and business leaders, representatives from civil society, multilateral and regional institutions as well as Africa’s major international partners to debate issues of critical importance to Africa.
The weekend begins with a Leadership Ceremony, where this year the event welcomed and celebrated the 2017 Laureate, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.
Dr Mayaki, who is also the former prime minister of Niger, emphasised that service delivery in Africa is still slow despite the fact that some governments have put in much effort to ensure that citizens access public goods and services.
“The whole of Africa’s public sector needs an overhaul in order to have that one that is delivering to its promise,” said Jennifer Musisi, executive director of the Kampala City Authority, Uganda.
“The mandate of the public sector is to improve the general welfare of society by delivering efficient and effective services to citizens, but this is lacking among African governments,” remarked Herman Mashaba, mayor of Johannesburg, South Africa.
“Poor management of finances, high levels of nepotism, corruption, incompetent public servants, lack of accountability, poor human resources practices, and a lack of leadership have taken toll in the Africa’s public sector,” he noted.
The three-day event held by Mo Ibrahim Foundation kicked off in Kigali, which convenes prominent African political and business leaders, representatives from civil society, multilateral and regional institutions as well as Africa’s major international partners to debate issues of critical importance to Africa, according to organisers.
Established in 2006, the non-grant making organisation focuses on defining, assessing and enhancing governance and leadership in Africa through its four main initiatives including Ibrahim Index of African Governance, Ibrahim Forum, Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership and Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships.