The sixth edition of the Africa Public Service Day celebrations concluded at the weekend in Kigali with a call on Africa’s public servants to devise practical mechanisms to deliver quality services.
The call was made during a gala dinner hosted by the Ministry of Public Service and Labour in Kigali on Friday.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Stella Ford Mugabo, the minister for cabinet affairs, reiterated the role of youth in creating innovative solutions for Africa’s public service challenges.
Mugabo, who was the guest of honour, told the participants that putting youth at the centre could help countries achieve sustainable development since they make the biggest part of Africa’s population.
“Aware of our continent’s demographic characteristics with more than 60 per cent of the population being youth, it is logical and imperative that this category of the population is accorded special attention both as a force with great potential to substantially contribute to fast-tracking development and as biggest shareholders of the development outcome,” she said.
“It is, therefore, important to put in place practical mechanisms to build and enhance the relevance of Africa’s youth and equip it with ability to turn around the classic labels attached to Africa such as ‘poor continent,’ ‘least developed,’ ‘most indebted continent’ when paradoxically it is known as one of the most endowed with resources,” she added.
The three-day celebration of Africa Public Service Day was marked under the theme, “Entrenching a citizen-centred service delivery culture: Partnering with the youth for Africa’s transformation.”
Judith Uwizeye, the minister for public service and labour, said actionable recommendations to address challenges still limiting the delivery of public services would be implemented.
“We have had more well-informed and highly interactive discussions. The 2017 Africa Public Service Day has also provided us with an opportunity to consider signing ratification and implementation of the charter on values and principles of public service administration,” she noted.
“There is an urgent call for all African public services to play a critical role in achieving the 2063 agenda for the Africa we want.”
Awarding best innovative exhibitors
Part of the three-day celebration was the exhibitions where African Union member states showcased their public service innovations and shared experiences.
At the closure of the celebrations, outstanding public service institutions were recognised with awards and certificates.
The Rwanda Directorate of Immigration and Emigration scooped three awards; best managed, accountable, transparent and accessible organisation; best innovation in citizen-centred service delivery; and best pavilion and exhibition booth.
The event brought together over 500 guests, including high-level dignitaries, members of the public service organisations, public servants, academia, private sector, and other non-state actors.
Other winners include RwandAir, City of Kigali, Namibia Institute of Pathology Limited, Centre for Public Service Innovation, M-Post Postal Corporation of Kenya, Rwanda Utility and Regulatory Authority (RURA), and AJIRA Digital Programme.
Pascale Mugwaneza, the director of ICT at immigration and emigration directorate, attributed their win to the many innovations that their institution has put in place to better serve the public.
“What we basically did is to showcase the innovations that we have put in place to improve the service delivery, including the electronic systems to ease the visa application processes as well as cross-border movement,” she said