Zimbabwe’s new Finance Minister of building an effective public service


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When I was Dean of Wits Business School, many years ago, I launched a programme jointly with Harvard Business School for leaders in the public sector.

Such a programme in the case of Zimbabwe could also be done through a partnership with both a local and international university, for joint certification.

Furthermore, my experience from when I was vice president and chief economist of the African Development Bank, informs me that the government could approach the African Development Bank, through the African Development Institute (ADI), to partly support the programme.

In particular, the ADI, which I supervised, has developed various capacity development programmes, and has the resources to assist in developing the type of leadership programme that I am here proposing for Zimbabwe.

We could also approach a government such as the United Kingdom or South Korea and seek retired senior civil servants for secondments to mentor Zimbabwe senior public managers, including at the Zimbabwe Treasury.

These international secondees would spend a year or so and be funded through grant assistance from their home governments.

At the local authority and district level, again a skills programme would support the “devolution” agenda that seeks to empower the Zimbabwe regions to deliver and to be held accountable.

When I was dean at Wits Business School, I developed a programme for municipal managers on municipal finance.

That programme has trained over 3 000 personnel at the municipal level in South Africa, and one year it was cited by the South Africa Parliament as the reason why that year over 60% of the accounts from municipalities had passed the rigour of the Accountant General’s assessment.

In particular, Zimbabwe Treasury should require that the managers should have these necessary resource management and service delivery skills, for accountability on financial resources that it provides.

All this would impact service delivery positively in the public sector and enhance the value for money objective.

By Mthuli Ncube for The Source. This article was written before Ncube became Zimbabwe Finance Minister

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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