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10.10.2008 Social News

AAPAM conference calls for enhanced public service in Africa


The 30th African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM) Roundtable Conference on Friday resolved that enhancing public service performance was crucial to meet Africa's development targets.

It said Africa was lagging behind in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and other agreed development agenda, due to lack of commitment in reaching such targets.

This was contained in a 14-point communiqué issued at the end of the conference in Accra.

Over 265 delegates from 18 African countries including Ghana, Botswana, Cameroon, the Gambia, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria and Kenya convened in Accra since Monday for the five-day conference, dilating on the possibilities and modalities of enhancing the public service to champion Africa's development.

The conference was under the theme: "Enhancing the Performance of the Public Service in A Development State."

The communiqué asked Africans to emulate the course of action of the newly industrialised countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia by developing the capacity of the public service and investing heavily in infrastructure and human development.

It also noted that African public services lacked performance and delivery capacities due to unattractive conditions of service. "Pay levels in most countries are low, stagnant, non-competitive, compressed and not related to performance.”

The communiqué therefore called for the new pay reform policies and strategies that would make the public service the preferred employment choice to attract and retain staff to reverse brain drain.

To this effect, the communiqué endorsed the establishment of an Africa Public Sector Human Resource Managers Network to help modernise and professionalize the human resource base in public institutions.

The conference also observed that the continent was constrained and lacked well developed political systems and values to nurture leaders for growth, hence the need for efforts to inculcate the leadership style of the newly industrialised countries.

Mr Samuel Owusu-Agyei, Minister of Public Sector Reform who closed the conference expressed government's commitment to provide support to the public sector to in turn sustain the private sector.

He said Ghana was also making efforts to follow the example of Malaysia and other high performing countries.

Mr Joe Issachar, Head of the Office of Civil Service, called for commitment to exorcise the Third World mentality ingrained in Africans and poor working attitudes that retarded productivity.

He also called for effective and real implementation of polices instead of they being just on paper.