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06.10.2008 General News

Veep calls for a vibrant Public Service in Africa

By gna

Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, on Monday observed that the challenges posed by globalisation required a rejuvenated public service that could ensure the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa.

He therefore called for an ideal size of the service and a critical view of the level and quality of work-place supervision, remuneration and incentive packages and sanctions on the continent.

Alhaji Mahama made the observation in Accra, when he addressed the 30th Roundtable of the African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM) Ghana.

The five-day conference is being attended by 21 countries in Africa, on the theme: “Enhancing the Performance of the Public Service in a Development State.”

He noted that public services the world over are burdened with excessive controls, bureaucracy, political interferences and lack of political will to improve the service and its management.

“In our part of the world (Africa) these are compounded by ethnicity, patronage and other forms of management styles which inhibit performance,” he said.

Alhaji Mahama said since the public service was there to serve the people, it was imperative that society perceive the institution as being equal to the task of meeting their demands and sharing their aspirations.

He emphasised that, “It is when the public service effectively deals with issues concerning good governance, that public confidence, support and understanding can be generated in its favour”.

Alhaji Mahama said although Africa was by no means a poor continent, its vast resources had been exploited over the years with the active collusion of local compradors of Western countries to develop their economies.”

“Meanwhile our citizenry wallow in poverty and disease while our leaders look outside our borders for handouts, which eventually keep us in perpetual debt due to an unfair world economic order.”

Mr. Samuel Owusu-Agyei, Minister of Public Sector Reform, noted that public servants are expected to serve impartially, efficiently and expeditiously the government in power and facilitate the use of resources for the protection of life and property and the development of Africa.

He said Ghana's Public Sector Reform involved introduction of a single-spine salary structure to ensure that the principles of equal pay for work of equal value was held across the public service.

This he said would be supported by appropriate housing and long-term savings schemes and improved pension and the processing of pensions.

Mr Joe Issachar Head of Ghana Civil Service observed that Africa needed a public service that could undertake measures in the socio-economic sphere to be able to mobilise resources, manage expenditure and operate in the most effective way possible.

Mr John Mitala, President of AAPAM said the organisation had been streamlined from a seemingly hopeless status to a world-wide reputable body.