Commonwealth Forum : Public Services Poised to Surmount Challenges

Heads of Public Services in Commonwealth Africa have re-affirmed the need to fight corruption and engage in all stages of national planning.After three days of work, Heads of Public Services in 16 Commonwealth African countries present in Yaounde have acknowledged, re-affirmed and agreed on issues requiring reforms that would contain or mitigate the impacts of future similar financial crises in the world. In a communiqué published after the 7th Forum of Commonwealth Heads of African Public Services, the participants agreed to anchor and align reforms to national development agendas and to mainstream them in

respective ministries, departments and agencies. While closing the forum yesterday in Yaounde, the Minister of Public Service and Administrative Reform, Emmanuel Bonde, lauded the Commonwealth Secretariat for its contribution in bringing together Heads of African Public Service in Commonwealth Africa to dialogue, network and share best practices on contemporary public sector issues.
During the forum, the participants focused their discussion on the theme « Managing and integrating Public Sector Reforms in an era of Global Economic Crisis », They acknowledged that the government has a critical role to play in development, nurturing and sustaining sound credible institutions as well as increasing revenue mobilisation which is critical for the sustenance of public sector reforms and other development initiatives. The Heads of Public Services also acknowledged that African countries need to strengthen internal capacity for design and formulation of reforms and ensure that core reforms are funded through the national budget process. They also recognised that information sharing between politicians and public servants is critical for strengthening the political-administrative interface.{module Publicité 300_250|none}

The 7th commonwealth forum was also an opportunity to re-affirm the need for African countries to develop and implement home-grown solutions to their problems; for African public services to strengthen human capacities, attract and retain talent and practice meritocracy whilst endeavouring to ensure equity through empowerment strategies for disadvantaged and minority groups as well as to continue the fight against corruption in the public service. This, they said, would transform it into a citizen-responsive and development- oriented institution. Heads of Public Service also saw the need to have overall leadership and oversight of reforms with appropriate support structures that will enable them to perform their role effectively and to improve capacity of the public service in integrating HIV/AIDS, gender and other cross-cutting issues in all stages of sectoral and national planning. The Republic of Namibia will host the 2011 Forum of Heads of Public Service in Commonwealth Africa under the theme « Leadership for Sustainable Development in Commonwealth Africa ».

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