Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the public service is critical to the success of the The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila is of the opinion that the implementation of the agreement will rely on the competence and skills of public servants in the AfCFTAmember states.
“As public servants, we are expected to possess appropriate capacities and skills to operate the public institutions and systems, and enable the public service to respond to changing dynamics and withstand external shocks,” she pointed out.
The AfCFTA promotes access for member states to markets on the continent thereby promoting opportunities for increased trade and economic growth.
The Prime Minister called on the public sector to align and coordinate efforts at all levels and promote a spirit of partnership with other stakeholders beyond the public service, in order to leverage on the resources and capabilities of all Namibians to optimise economic growth and development.
“This is important for our country to be able to compete well with others in an inter
grated African economy and therefore benefit from this integration. Failure for us
to prepare ourselves for the AfCFTA could result in negative consequences for the economy including failure to industrialize, threat to infant local industries, loss of jobs and reduced public revenue,” she said.
The AfCFTA is one of the projects of the AU Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. It is a transmission of the African continent, into a global powerhouse capable of delivering inclusive and sustainable development.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila reminded the public service sector to rededicate and commit to the country Public Service Charter, highlighting key roles that public administration will play towards the AfCFTA successes.
She said that in living the Charter commitments, the public institutions have undertaken reforms aimed at strengthening the public service delivery commitments.
The Prime Minister stressed the need to ensure continued monitoring to the adherence of the Public Service Charter, rather than their mere existence, that leads to public service improvement.
She encouraged feedback mechanisms in various government Offices, Ministries & Agencies (OMAs), and ensured continuous engagement with the public and provision of responses and remedies where services were found to fall short.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the publication of annual reports for OMAs is a means to ensure accountability and information sharing and strengthening performance management systems.
She called upon all public servants to continue to honour the noble duty of service to the people and to propel the change that they all want to see in public service provision and, at the same time, to foster a culture of innovation in the public sector and nurture the innovations to bring about improvement in public service delivery.
“You should also leverage the digital era to improve public administration and public services and ease the public accessing of public services,” she said.
Amidst the challenges caused by the economic downturn, the Prime Minister said government has continued to prioritise the wellbeing of its staff.
Thus, the government has started structural reforms to allow each OMA to have structures dedicated to developing and implementing the health and wellness of the staff. This includes interventions to address mental health issues at an early stage. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org