Yaoundé, Cameroon. 27-29 July 2010
The Commonwealth Heads of African Public Service held their Seventh Forum in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 27th to 29th July 2010 under the theme “Managing and Integrating Public Sector Reforms in an era of global economic crisis”.
Reflected on the challenges that the global economic crisis poses for African economies and the African Public Service;
Discussed public sector reform efforts in Commonwealth Africa; Identified strategies for re-aligning and integrating public sector reforms so that public services in Africa can play a more effective role in service
delivery and facilitate socio-economic development in the context of the global economic crisis and other constraints; and Identified the capacity building requirements for moving the public sector reform agenda forward.
The Heads of Public Service acknowledged that:
Government has a critical role to play in development and needs to allocate more resources to social and productive sectors; Government has a critical role to establish, nurture and sustain sound and credible institutions; increasing revenue mobilisation is critical for the sustenance of public sector reforms and other development initiatives; African countries need to strengthen internal capacity for design and formulation of reforms and ensure core reforms are funded through the national budget process; involvement of key stakeholders including politicians, civil society and
citizens is critical for reform ownership and sustainability; Management Development Institutes are important partners in the reform process and should be supported to strengthen their capacities; positive attitudes, self-confidence, integrity and commitment to excellence will enable Africans to shape their own destinies and achieve their national development aspirations; comprehensive reforms are critical for improving public sector
effectiveness and service delivery; information sharing between politicians and public servants is critical for strengthening the political-administrative interface.
The Heads of Public Service re-affirmed the need:
to better design, implement, coordinate and integrate reforms so that they can achieve the intended outputs and outcomes; for African countries to develop and implement home-grown solutions to their problems; to optimise utilisation of the limited resources available within the continent (including human resources); for African public services to strengthen human capacities, attract and retain talent and practice meritocracy whilst endeavoring to ensure equity through empowerment strategies for disadvantaged and minority
groups; to transform the public service into a citizen-responsive, development oriented institution; to strengthen the political-administrative interface for effective implementation of the national development agenda including public
sector reforms; to continue the fight against corruption in the public service.
The Heads of Public Service agreed on the need: for Heads of Public Service to have overall leadership and oversight of reforms with appropriate support structures that will enable them to perform this role effectively; to anchor and align reforms to national development agendas and to
mainstream them in respective ministries, departments and agencies; to strengthen capacity within the public service to manage and
implement reforms focusing particularly on capacity in research, planning, forecasting, monitoring and evaluation; to provide mandatory induction training to new public servants and competency development for all public servants as part of their criteria for career progression; to transform attitudes and build confidence of public servants and citizens of Africa to take charge of their destiny; to effectively involve Management Development Institutes in all stages of the reform process including capacity building; to enhance capacities for the establishment and operation of early warning systems; for Heads of Public Service to be change champions and to ensure that there are change drivers at all levels of the public service; to enact legislation to ensure due process in making changes to the national development agenda particularly during government transition; to improve capacity of the public service to integrate HIV/AIDS, gender and other cross-cutting issues in all stages of sectoral and national planning.
The Forum expressed its profound gratitude and appreciation to the government and people of Cameroon for hosting and to the Commonwealth
Secretariat for organizing the Forum. They also thanked the Government of the Republic of Namibia for offering to host the 2011 Forum whose theme will be “Leadership for Sustainable Development in Commonwealth Africa”.
29 July 2010