Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on African governments to put their citizens at the center of service delivery during Africa Delivery Exchange 2020, a virtual event that opened on Tuesday.
In comments to open the two-day workshop, Kenyatta noted that on a continent of about 1.3 billion Africans with an average age of about 20 years, there is a very tangible underlying sense of urgency as far as government expectations are concerned.
“Our people know and understand what development should look like and what benefits it should have for their socio-economic well-being. Therefore, a lack of trust between the electorate and those who do not speak the missing remedy within the development paradigm. , ”Said Kenyatta.
The event was co-hosted by the Kenyan president’s delivery unit, the African Development Bank and the Tony Blair Institute (TBI) for Global Change.
Kenyatta acknowledges the Bank and the TBI’s support for promoting Kenya’s development, and thanks the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, and former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who joined him in a panel.
“Without the lessons of TBI, we would have had to rediscover the wheel, but rather with a proven model, and we have improved it to reflect our unique circumstances here in Kenya.”
In his remarks, Blair noted that the demands of leadership have changed and that governments are expected to do much more than they have traditionally been. “They have to provide services to their people; they have to create the right environment for their economy, they have to deal with all kinds of major crises, of which COVID-19 is just the latest example. All of this requires extraordinary focus, clarity and decision-making.”
To meet these delivery expectations, governments need to focus on prioritization, policy, personnel and performance management. “Performance management is the most important one. What is difficult is that each of these systems that you are trying to change will have interests that will often hinder. They will need areas that you need to go through the whole government, to do something. get done in one area of government, they will have complicated politics around them. ‘
Adesina praised Kenyatta for its focus on ordinary citizens and praised the Kenyan government’s Big Four ‘agenda, which puts food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable health care for all, and noted a fifth area in which the country has made great progress has. “Mr. President, you are doing extraordinary work on energy. You are connecting your people across the country in a wonderful way with the delivery of the last mile. If you add energy, you actually have a big five.”
The bank president outlined some delivery lessons: a clear vision; publish delivery expectations to create liability; establish a culture of accountability; strict results measurement; to ensure sustainability.
“The Bank is currently developing a new public service delivery index in Africa, which will help assess African countries, including nationals, on public service delivery,” he added.
The COVID-19 pandemic formed a backdrop for the event.
This is not the first pandemic we have faced, Adesina said, but it may never happen again that the continent is caught unprepared. “Africa has invested heavily in health care. We need to change and give Africa a quality health care defense system to make sure we have excellent primary health care.”
“One question is, how do you keep the sense of urgency you had when dealing with the disease, and carry the same sense of urgency and focus to rebuild better afterwards?”
The African Development Bank has formed strategic partnerships with government delivery units in Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia and is working on the approval of a fourth in Senegal. In January 2019, the Bank led the launch of the African Delivery Units Network to provide a platform for sharing knowledge, experience and expertise among delivery units in Africa.
The two-day event includes technical sessions and presentations by specialists, including representatives of the national and city government, multilateral development institutions and other development partners.
Olufemi Terry | Department of Communications and External Relations
African Development Bank | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org