African Training and Research
Centre in Administration for
و البحث
Centre Africain de Formation
et de Recherche Administratives
pour le Développement


Theme: Support for Innovation, Modernization and Change in the Civil Service

In commemoration of the Africa Day of Civil Service and Administration please allow us as we usually do each year, to address to you our message of support, encouragement and congratulations on the occasion of this Day.
As you already know the decision to celebrate the 23rd June of each year as Africa Day of Civil Service and Administration was made at the first Pan African Conference of Ministers of Civil Service held in Tangier (Morocco), 20-21 June 1994.
The main objective of this celebration consists of:
1) To reflect on the function of the civil service: its mission and objectives, programmes and projects, problems and challenges, success and failure, etc;
2) To give recognition and make known the importance of the civil service; its positive contribution and benefit to public servants, population, civil society, private sector and government;
3) To reward, motivate and encourage deserving officials for programmes and projects which have been launched, for new initiatives and new innovations and for changes which they have introduced and for which they deserve distinction;
4) To prepare the civil service and administration for a better future by proposing change for the social well being of the state.
For the year 2005, we would like to propose the above theme as a basis for your reflections, debates and consultations.
The purpose for choosing this theme is because innovation has become nowadays an integral part of reform efforts, restructuring and modernization of public services as well as the whole institutions of governance.
First of all, to innovate is to have the capacity and the goodwill to put forward the question, and to look for new solutions to do things otherwise. With regard to the public sector this means to reexamine existing structures, procedures and technologies in use, and to review texts and practices in force in order to adapt them or to modify them in relation to real needs and current context.
Secondly, innovate in order to liberate a creative spirit to incite new initiatives, to encourage creativity and enterpreneurship and to come out with change and improvement. Innovate is then the setting in motion of a new vision, a new perspective and a new approach in the civil service.
To introduce innovations in the civil service that may increase the capacity and lead to better delivery of services to citizens, certain conditions are necessary. These are:
(i) have courage to accept change and to learn to change; to work in a new environment and under new conditions;
(ii) support and motivate the innovation process by various means;
(iii) ease, adapt or even do without some elements (texts, structures, etc.);
(iv) give recognition, encourage and reward innovation;
(v) prepare and plan innovation by developing capacities and competences and by the provision of the resources needed for innovation
At this moment where all African countries are engaged in the modernization of their public services, innovation should be encouraged, supported and motivated. Innovation concerns all partners of the civil service, central and local levels and also all hierarchical scales.
Finally it should be noted that 23rd June has also been declared United Nations Public Service Day. Both celebrations could be combined to mark the great importance of the civil service and administration in your country.
Wishing you all the best in your celebrations of the Day.