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African govts urged to digitise public service



AFRICAN Union ministers meeting in Victoria Falls for the eighth edition of the Africa Public Service Day commemorations have agreed that governments should invest in leadership development to inculcate sound values and ethics in the public service.

The ministers said there was need to promote inclusivity in public service work by developing policies that advance the participation of all marginalised groups in leadership positions.

Presenting the commemoration’s declarations under which Zimbabwe will  host the ninth Africa Public Service Day in 2023, Public Service Commissioner Ozias Hove said the leaders underscored the link between public service and development as important for sustainable service delivery.

“Participants resolved that, in recognition of the substantial benefits derived from digitisation to enhance service delivery continuity and recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic, governments are called upon to invest more resources in information communication technology (ICT) as well as the Fourth Industrial Revolution in readiness for the post-COVID-19 dispensation and to anticipate the next challenges.

“ICT is seen as a potent tool for fighting corruption, illicit financial flows, more particularly the sophisticated money-laundering schemes and other related crimes.”

“ICT security, lack of investment in ICT infrastructure, inadequate electricity distribution and attitudes were identified as key challenges to bridging the digital divide in Africa. Governments were also urged to invest more resources in ICT infrastructure and energy generation, especially clean energy to ensure inclusivity in digitisation programmes,” he said.

Hove added that governments should create an enabling environment to cultivate creativity and spur innovations which should flourish in the public service. Participants also agreed that governments should cater for the welfare of public servants post-retirement.

Cultural diversity was also as a deterrent to unethical tendencies such as corruption and rent-seeking behavour that is witnessed in the public sector.

“Governments should continue investing in leadership development to inculcate sound values and ethics in the public service,” Hove said.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare  minister Paul Mavima emphasised the need to build Africa through focused leadership, which is ethical and free of corruption.

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