MEDIA STATEMENTS

South Africa to Co-Chair the global Open Government Partnership

Date: 8 Aug 2014

Monday, 4 August 2014

The government of South Africa will serve as Support Chair on the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee from October 2014, and Lead Chair in October 2015.

Deputy Minister for Public Service and Administration, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo as Special Envoy to the Open Government Partnership, formally announced the role on the 4th of August 2014 at the OGP session of Civil Society Forum which took place as part of the events of the US-Africa Summit taking place in Washington DC, United States.

Launched in September 2011, the OGP is a mechanism to promote increased accountability, transparency, citizen participation and the fight against corruption in the respective countries and across the world. South Africa joined seven other countries which are Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States of America at the formation of this initiative.

Since the launch of the OGP, the government of South Africa, has been an active member of the OGP Steering Committee and has played a key role in convening OGP-Africa regional events and discussion forums aimed at deepening good governance practices on the African continent.

The South African government`s involvement in this global open governance initiative is informed by government`s constitutional commitment to advance good governance locally and internationally; as well as the imperative to share South Africa`s experiences gained over the past twenty years in establishing and consolidating democratic practices with other countries as they also undertake to deepen democracy and improve the livelihoods of their citizenry.

During its tenure as Co-Chair of the OGP, South Africa undertakes to maximise the benefits of participating in the OGP so that it becomes an authentic partnership-based initiative aimed at learning about and sharing best practices on how to open governments and civil society for the common good.

The government of South Africa is of the view that this can only be achieved by intensifying regional OGP outreach programmes and by documenting governance experiences in a manner that makes it both accessible and user-friendly. As OGP Co-Chair, South Africa thus intends to play a leading role to promote meaningful regional outreach programmes and dialogue that empowers governments, civil society and citizens.

South Africa will also use its tenure as Co-Chair to ensure that OGP country action plans promote the domestic priorities of countries as they undertake to strengthen their good governance initiatives. The South African government is of the view that a focus on strengthening domestic priorities will, with the support of OGP regional and other governance networks, lead to improved governance practices regionally and globally.

South Africa has therefore committed, as one of its priorities during its tenure as OGP Co-Chair, to facilitate greater collaboration between the OGP, regional governance structures, and the United Nations system.

Given the primacy of strengthening good governance locally, and its links to good governance at the regional and global levels, South Africa will focus on the following domestic OGP priorities: the creation and strengthening of a mechanism for on-going civil society and government interaction; encouraging and fostering the development of Open Data/Information Platforms for social media-e-government and m-government to improve citizen access to information, data and services offered by government; and the creation of a synergy between community-based Thusong Service Centres and other public governance programmes to enhance service delivery and elevate our levels of good governance. The successes and lessons learnt in implementing these priorities will not only enhance open government locally, but also serve to leverage good governance at the regional and global levels.

In executing its new responsibilities as OGP Co-Chair, South Africa will thus continue to ensure that citizens are provided with relevant information and are capacitated to participate meaningfully in governance processes by improving and building on existing citizen engagement strategies using technology as an enabler where possible.

Issued by the Ministry for Public Service and Administration

For more information contact: Dumisani Nkwamba on 0828859448 or dumisanin@dpsa.gov.za


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