By Alva M. Wolokolie
Hundreds of Liberian Civil Servants yesterday paraded the principal streets of Monrovia in observance of African Public Service Day.
The day was celebrated under the theme: “Enhancing Accountability, Transparency and Integrity. It is set aside by the African Union (AU) for civil service to showcase best practices and innovations in the public sector, as well as promote professionalism and integrity in service delivery.
At the indoor program held at the Monrovia City, the keynote speaker, Dr. Alfred A. Kulah, told the audience that a well functioning public sector provides efficient and effective services that keep a nation and people accelerating in all aspects of life, mainly political, social, economic and cultural.
Dr.Kulah said the absence of transparency; accountability, and integrity in public service; has eroded professionalism and promotes ethnicity, nepotism and widespread corruption.
In some cases, he said it has bred dictatorship and proprietary control leading to violent conflicts as was the case in countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Libya.
Dr. Kulah who is a Commissioner at the Governance Commission (GC) indicated that there will be no public service if the country has not had some frontline civil servants whom individuals meet on a daily basis to get papers signed, check passports, register business and resolve petty disputes.
In a special remark, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of African Union (AU) Ambassador Toyin Solaja described the day as a significant one and more importantly the day aims to celebrate the value and virtue of service to citizens in Africa and the world over.
Ambassador Solaja told the workers that the day being celebrated brings together civil servants to commemorate the value and virtue of service-delivery improvement to the communities they serve, and to consider the working conditions of many men and women who devote their lives to serve the public.
“I am hopeful that the Liberian Civil Service Agency can make tremendous progress if it consolidates its reform initiative within the service, as well as to observe the provisions of the 2001 AU Charter for Public Service in Africa.
At the end of the program, Mr. Abu Kamara of the Ministry of Commerce was certificated as “Civil Servant of the year”. Mr. Kamara was nominated among 24 nominations from several line ministries. He started as a warehouse clerk in 1987 with Aminata and Sons at the Freeport of Monrovia. The CSA also awarded Mr. Kamara the sum of US$1,000 as a sign of appreciation for his effort as a Civil Servant of the year.