HE Edward K. Ssekandi gives a Speech at the Conference
HE Thabo Mbeki addresses Delegates at the Conference
Hon JC Muyingo makes Opening Remarks
The Director General Dr James Nkata makes opening Remarks at the Conference
A Team from Ethopia also attended the Conference
DG, SA High Commisioner, Prez. Thabo Mbeki, Hon Muluuli Mukasa and Director Programmes - Dr Kasozi at a Dinner
UMI Holds Second International Conference
Uganda Management Institute has concluded her very successful second International conference in Kampala. The conference was officially opened by the Vice President of Uganda HE Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi (Representing the president). The keynote at the conference was given by the former South African President Thabo Mbeki. The conference on Governance and service delivery had papers presented by various scholars and practitioners from 60 different countries.
In a speech read for him by VP Edward Sekandi, President Museveni commended the UMI management for leading the Institute in a manner that ensures no staff or student strike ever happens there. Museveni attributed this to the fact that UMI recruits, trains and retains highly disciplined staff of high moral credentials who in turn pass on similar values to their students. The President suggested this should be emulated by other institutions of higher learning in Uganda.
Speaking during the opening session of the “2nd International Conference on Service Delivery in Developing Economies”, Museveni thanked UMI for its enormous contribution towards training of excellent human resources for the public service since inception in 1969. The conference is part of the 5year-long series of activities aimed at marking 50 years of UMI’s existence.
The ministry of Education and sports on their turn indicated that they are very proud of the pace-setting approaches through which UMI delivers its research and training mandate. The Minister of Education called for increased research funding at public training institutions to enable an even better job. She commended the Institute for its research undertakes that are aimed at qualitatively impacting policy formulation. The Vice president Edward Sekandi, spoke in the same session as South African Ex-President Thabo Mbeki. Preceding a dinner in the evening, the conference was one of the events climaxing a year-long celebration to mark UMI’s 50 years of existence.
Mbeki’s speech focused on three major things including calling on African governments to heed their service delivery-related obligations as contained in the AU Charter on Values & Principles of Public Service & Administration. Mbeki said it was shameful that this all-important Charter, that African Presidents agreed upon during their meeting in 2011, has (as of now) been ratified and domesticated by only 19 out of the 54 countries making AU. The Charter obliges state parties to enact into place a sanctions system and core values which must be heeded by all civil and public servants in the course of service delivery in favor of their respective countrymen and women. It also seeks to eliminate or severely punish those public servants acting corruptly in the course of service delivery. Even in the 19 countries where the same has been ratified and domesticated, Mbeki said not much had been achieved because AU member countries have largely been very lukewarm towards obligations enshrined therein.
Mbeki observed that the ideals articulated in Africa’s Agenda 2063 (and even Agenda 2023 marking the 1st decade into Agenda 2063) have largely not been achieved because of AU leaders’ failure or refusal to take their AU Charter obligations seriously. Demanding accountability and accountable leadership, Mbeki also implored public servants to realize the offices they occupy are merely a means to an end as opposed to being an end in themselves. The man who led SA for two terms also denounced patronage that African political leaders indulge in arguing it was the major cause of incompetence and poor service delivery by public servants many of whom aren’t recruited on merit but basing on their loyalty to the ruling elites and ruling parties.
Mbeki argued that patronage kills professionalism and results into a bloated public service because many positions will be created and people recruited not because there is need for the same but largely because a leader wants to reward his or her supporters and vote-winning constituencies.
He said this leads to the cost of public administration being bloated at the expense of genuine service delivery. "I am urging the elected executive authorities on our continent to allow the public servants to do their work professionally without unnecessary interference,"
The UMI Governing Council Chairperson, F X Lubanga, in his rejoinder said as leaders of UMI, Mbeki’s candid submission has greatly inspired them to soldier on until the desirous public governance situation is attained or there is a move towards the same.
The Conference attracted more than 300 delegates from more than 60 countries ran under the theme; "Accountability, Innovation and Quality Public Service Delivery"
UMI management showcased international awards and accolades previously achieved evidencing the fact that the Institute is increasingly becoming international in character and outlook. Mbeki and Sekandi also launched Dr. Sylvester Kugonza’s book on “Disaster Preparedness.” The same ceremony was used to celebrate the 10th anniversary for the UMI’s internationally peer-reviewed journal of Management.