This year’s annual Africa Public Service Day (APSD) is aimed at reflecting how the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will lead to the creation of more decent jobs and improved welfare.
The APSD is celebrated on June 23 annually throughout the African continent and this year’s continental APSD will be held under the theme: “The Year of The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation,”
The AfCFTA is the world’s largest free trade area bringing together the 55 countries of the African Union (AU) and eight (8) Regional Economic Communities (RECs).
In South Africa, the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) acts as custodian of the APSD week-long programme (June 19 to June 23) and the department will develop a programme in support of government departments to participate in the programme and in advancing the aspirations of Agenda 2063 as per the reflected theme.
The DPSA is the APSD custodian as per its mandate of transforming, reforming, and innovating to improve effectiveness and efficiency in the public service as outlined in the Public Service Act (1994).
Launch of the APSD programme
This year’s APSD programme will be officially unveiled on June 19 with a symposium targeting public servants, ambassadors, academia, youth, and women organisations.
The symposium which will also be targeting Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) will be held both physically and virtually.
The plenary session of the Symposium will be used to reflect on the function of the public service, its mission, objectives, programmes and projects, challenges, and successes.
APSD National Programme
Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Noxolo Kiviet is expected to lead a Ministerial outreach programme for the youth on June 21. This will be done with the view of focusing on the free trade area in partnership with The Presidency, the Department of Trade Industry and Competition, Department of Small Business Development, and the Industrial Development Corporation.
On Friday, June 23, there will be a breakfast dialogue session focusing on cross-border crime and anti-corruption instruments, the session is intended to enable virtual connectivity to the main continental event 2023 APSD.
The APSD, which is derived from the collaborative work of the Pan-African Ministers programme, is not only aimed at enhancing governance and public administration, but this year will also be a platform to reflect on how the AfCFTA will lead to improved welfare, and better quality of life for all citizenry, and sustainable development.
The APSD is a deep-rooted strategic event of the African Union (AU) calendar, and it advances the aspirations of Agenda 2063.
To date, the continental APSD has been celebrated eight (8) times, namely in Namibia (2007), Tanzania (2009 & 2011), Ghana (2013), Congo (2015), Rwanda (2017), Kenya (2019) and Zimbabwe (2021).
This year is a biennial year of celebrating the 9th Continental APSD edition and Zimbabwe was again proposed as the host for the 2023 APSD.
These are some of the APSD objectives.
- Raise awareness on the relationship between the Public Service and AfCFTA to create more decent jobs, improved welfare, and better quality of life for all citizens.
- Communicate the role of APSD in promoting and preparing the Public Service and administration for a better future by proposing a change for the social well-being of the population- focus on youth month.
- Reflect on the effectiveness of the anti-corruption instruments in South Africa and the Continent.
- Promote topics that reflect on the capacity of the state to deliver on government policy priorities such as AfCFTA.
The APSD is a platform that is used to reflect on the work of the public service in line with the values and principles for public administration and the aspirations of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030.
29 years ago, Pan-African Ministers agreed that 23 June of every year should be celebrated as APSD.
The Ministers recognised the significance of APSD as part of the continental strategy to enhance public administration and governance programmes across the continent.
The APSD is recognised as part of the continental strategy to enhance public administration and governance programmes across the continent, where the Ministers are enabled to:
- Reflect on the function of the public service: its mission, objectives, programmes and projects, challenges, and successes.
- Give recognition to and make known the importance of the civil service, its positive contributions and benefits to public servants, the population, civil society, the private sector, and the government.
- Motivate and encourage public servants to continue the good work done and to come up with new initiatives and innovations.
- Prepare the public service and administration for a better future by proposing change for the social well-being of the population.
The overall aim of APSD is to recognise the value and virtue of service to the community.