South Africa commemorates Africa Public Service Day.
By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
South Africa will next week join the rest of the continent in commemorating Africa Public Service Day (APSD).
South Africa will mark the annual programme with a weeklong series of activities starting on 20 June 2022 to 24 June 2022, with a virtual launch as the precursor of the local events to be held countrywide by various government departments.
In a statement the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) said the main national event will be held on 23 June 2022 in Tzaneen, Limpopo, in line with the continental APSD calendar.
This year's continental celebrations will be held under the theme: "Rebuilding the State and restoring trust and pride by tackling human capital development challenges for social and economic development".
The focus of the continental theme is to dedicate the year to strengthening the fight against malnutrition in all its forms, drawing on the potential of its populations while the local events will zoom into the other sub- themes in a South African context.
The sub- themes include:
The fight against malnutrition- strengthening social protection/ food security systems, and creating healthy lifestyles;
Building public value and trust for active citizenship and social partnering;
Building resilience in the public service administration.
Malnutrition in Africa is considered high in comparison with the rest of the world, at the same time, overweight, obesity and non-communicable diseases related to the quality of diets are increasing rapidly, worsening morbidity and mortality rates.
Malnutrition through its negative effects on the development of human capital and its productivity, contributes to the delay in African countries’ economic and social development, with unacceptable human consequences on African individuals, communities and nations.
Human capital is key for development as it leads to improved lives for individuals, higher earnings and improved incomes for countries.
In addition to existing malnutrition challenges, the global health crisis of COVID-19 has greatly exposed the economic vulnerability of African countries.
The APSD is an annual event observed on 23 June. It is an entrenched strategic programme on the African Union (AU) calendar, and part of collaborative work of the Pan-African Ministers programme aimed at enhancing governance and public administration across the continent.
The initiative emanates from the declaration of the first Pan African Conference of Ministers of Public/Civil Service held in Tangier, Morocco in 1994.
The Continental APSD event provides member states opportunities for benchmarking, and cross-pollination of service delivery improvement ideas, best practices and innovation in the public service.
The APSD programme will also be observed in various AU member states.