AU to Mark Africa Public Service Day

The Africa Union (AU) will mark this year’s African Public Service Day (APSD) celebration with a week-long conference with the theme: African Public Service in the Age of Open Government: Giving Voice to Citizen scheduled to hold from June 17 – 23, 2013 in Accra, Ghana.

The day to be celebrated is an outcome of the agreement by African Ministers of Public Service at their first conference held in June 1994 in Tangiers, Morocco. However, it did not come into effect until a decade later in 2009 when the Sixth Pan-African Conference of Ministers of Public Service adopted it in Sirte, Libya.

That adoption, made June 23 the date to be recognised and celebrated every year as the Africa Public Service Day.

The objectives of APSD bi-annual celebrations are: To reflect on the functions of the civil/public service – its mission and objectives, programmes and projects, successes and challenges; give recognition to and make known the importance of the civil/public service, its positive contribution and benefit to the public servants, population, civil society, private sector and government; motivate and encourage public servant to continually improve the public sector with new initiatives and innovations; create a channel for citizens’ scrutiny through feedback mechanism and to prepare the public service and administration for a better future by proposing positive changes for the social well-being of the population.

This year’s edition will focus on enhancing accountability, transparency and integrity in the public sector; enhancing access to information in public sector; strengthen citizen’s participation among others.

The celebrations will include paper presentations in seven plenary sections and breakout sections. Mr. Edetean Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda is expected to make a presentation on Access to information in public service in Africa along with Dr. Ibrahim Kane of Advocacy Open Society Foundation and Hon. Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection Ghana.

Other presentations at the event include Enhancing Accountability, Transparency and Integrity in the Public Service in Africa, Empowering Management Development Institutions to Build Capacity in the Public Service for a better Service delivery in Africa and Strengthening Citizens Effective Participation in Public Service in Africa.

The APSD has been celebrated three times at the continental level in Namibia; 2007, Tanzania; 2009, and 2011.

Among the dignitaries that will attend the celebration are President John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana; Hon. Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ghana; Hon. Alhassan Azong, Minister of PSRS Ghana; Hon. Mahama Avariga, Minister of Information and media Relations; Hon. Marietta Brew Appiah Oppong, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Ghana; Mr. Barney Afoko, Thabo Mbeki Foundation South Africa and many others.

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