By Landing Ceesay
The Gambia’s Vice President, Badara A. Joof told the civil servants that they must deliver as opposed to the past.
“The civil service is the engine of ideas, the engine of programmes, (and) the engine of projects. But also the implementers of those projects, programmes and ideas. It cannot be business as usual in the civil service. We must deliver to the Gambian people,” he told the civil servants at a retreat.
The Vice President said Gambians have great expectations and they are no longer at peace; adding ‘to make them at peace, we have to deliver the development agenda of the government’.
The VP further stated that in doing so, the Government identified ten priority areas that are not exhaustive; but there are priorities within priorities; and the priority came up with the civil service reform with the appointment of a Minister for the civil service.
“To have an effective and efficient civil service, we have to have an inter moral focus of the civil service, do an assessment of the civil service, do a profiling of the civil service, have a baseline, set benchmarks, design a performance contact which will include among other things training, and the training could be space or face in three. There is pre-service training, there is long term and medium term training and there is in-service training to bring people up to speed,” the Vice President said.
His Excellency Joof said skills and knowledge are evolving, dynamic, and they are not static.
The Vice President said what was required in the 60s and the 70s is no long required today in terms of skills and knowledge application.
He stated that in the 60s and 70s it was trending to study political science and international relations because that was the fight for independence.
The Gambia’s number two said there was a paradigm shift in the 80s and 90s because they wanted Economic Independence; and that was the time they talked about structural adjustment and the programme for sustainable development.
“Today, in the 20s, we are talking about digital knowledge. E-Health, E-education, E-Agriculture, E-everything. So, there is a knowledge shift and there is a skill shift. We have to look at that, how do we re-tool the civil service to be more responsive and receptive to ministers to the realization and actualization of the goals of the NDP and the development priorities.
“The Minister for civil service has a big task. He will be working together with the Secretary General, the personal management office and Permanent Secretaries to make these things happen,” the Vice said at the opening of the Maiden Cabinet retreat at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Centre on Tuesday.