Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Noxolo Kiviet

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has the potential to revolutionise the African continent’s economic prospects, says Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Noxolo Kiviet.

Speaking at the Africa Public Service Day (APSD) Ministerial Youth Outreach dialogue at the University of Johannesburg on Tuesday, Minister Kiviet said: “Today marks a significant milestone as we come together to discuss and strategise on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which has the potential to revolutionise our continent’s economic landscape.

“The AfCFTA presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to foster economic growth, boost trade, and create prosperity for the people of Africa.”

According to the Minister, it is imperative that the public service and the broader public administration play a pivotal role in facilitating an enabling environment for investment and value-adding industries to maximise the benefits of the AfCFTA.

Youth Month

In South Africa, June holds a special place in the hearts of South Africans, as it commemorates the courageous and resilient spirit of the youth who fought for liberation, equality, and justice.

Minister Kiviet said: “We are reminded that the future of our continent rests in the hands of our youth, and their active participation and leadership are critical in realising our shared vision for a prosperous, united, and empowered Africa.

“Let us harness the energy and enthusiasm of our young generation as we work towards a brighter and more inclusive future for all Africans.

“Youth Month symbolises the power and potential of our young people to drive positive change and shape the Africa We Want, as espoused in Agenda 2063.”

The launch of the Africa Public Service Week, under the theme: “The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will require a fit-for-purpose African public administration to succeed”.

This year marks 47 years since the 1976 Soweto uprising that tragically ended with hundreds of young people killed by the apartheid government when they protested the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.

Africa Public Service Day

The Continental Africa Public Service Day (APSD) will be celebrated on Friday, June 23 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, under the theme: “The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will require a fit for purpose African public administration to succeed”.

Minister Kiviet said the event will provide a platform for further discussions and actions on the advancement of the AfCFTA.

The essence of the APSD lies in its recognition and celebration of the critical role played by the public service, and broadly our African public administration, in driving sustainable development, promoting good governance, and improving the lives of citizens across the continent.

The APSD serves as a platform for fostering dialogue, sharing best practices, and fostering collaboration among African nations to enhance public service delivery.

The APSD provides an invaluable opportunity for public servants to reflect on their responsibilities, exchange ideas, and explore innovative solutions to address the challenges facing our communities.

Minister Kiviet said the celebrations embodies the spirit of unity, cooperation, and a shared commitment towards building efficient, accountable, and citizen-centric public administrations that can effectively support the implementation of transformative agendas such as the African Continental Free Trade Area.

“By embracing the essence of APSD, we pave the way for a brighter future, where the public service becomes a catalyst for sustainable development and the achievement of the Africa We Want.

“The APSD is also one of the key events that foster the actualisation of the “African Charter on the Values and Principles of the Public Service and Administration” (Charter) which imposes obligations on state parties to report on the progress made in the implementation of the Charter,” she said.

South Africa was able to deposit its Baseline Report at the African Union Commission (AUC) on the implementation of the Charter in December 2022.

Minister Kiviet said the country is now looking forward to other state parties’ submission of their country reports on the implementation of the Charter.