Namibia's 'performance contracts' to enhance public service

Windhoek, Namibia, 5 September 2015 (ECA) - The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Mr. Carlos Lopes has called on Namibian Government Ministers and their Deputies to "imbibe the values of fitness, focus and determination, which make the Cheetah the fastest, most effective and efficient animals in the wild."   Mr. Lopes made this call while addressing Cabinet Ministers of the Government of Namibia, who have been locked in a three-day Cabinet Retreat in the Daan Viljoen Game Reserve, Khomas Region, some fifteen kilometers on the outskirts of the capital city, Windhoek.

The retreat, held on the theme: "Managing Results through performance Agreements' was opened by President Hage Geingob on Saturday. It is being facilitated by the ECA in collaboration with the UN Senior Staff College (UNSSC) as part of the ECA's ongoing support to Namibia in the areas of performance management and improvements in public service delivery. Mr. Lopes pointed out that performance contracting is in essence, "an exercise in managing expectations, whose usage has continued to gain traction across the globe including in a number of African countries."

He acknowledged that it is not uncommon for efforts at introducing performance contracts to face some level of initial resistance. He however, noted that available evidence suggests that such resistance is usually replaced by acceptance, especially when the rules of the game become clarified and routinized, and the dividends of the exercise become evident.

Mr. Lopes intimated that performance contracts are in the final analysis, "about the enhancement of leadership, facilitating team building and striving to entrench a culture of results."  

The retreat continues to the afternoon of Sunday, 6 September and is expected to culminate in the signing of individual performance contracts between the Ministers and the President. According to the organizing team, the introduction of performance contracts at the highest levels of government is a very welcome initiative as the initiative complements and establishes critical linkages with existing accountability mechanisms at lower levels. This practice is expected to contribute to the country's ambitions towards industrialization and economic transformation embodied in its long term development vision - Vision 2030.

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