Absorb more young people in public service, ex Pres Sirleaf tells government

Some of the 50 fellows who were inaugurated into Public Service by the  Public Service Commission. [Courtesy]

Former Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf has urged public service bodies to absorb more young people.

Sirleaf said that is the only way the younger generation can get the voice and space serve.

She was speaking in Nairobi on Thursday when she witnessed the Public Service Commission's inauguration of 50 fellows into a one year programme on Public Service.

The programme seeks to impart knowledge on the key pillars to public service delivery.

"I urge you to make every effort to make and give these emerging leaders the chance, the space and the voice to be able to serve," Sirleaf, who also Co-chairs the Global Board of the Emerging Public Leaders,” she said.

Sirleaf said that the initiative would help drive more effective service delivery and development for the country by young people.

The 50 fellows are out of 5,000 who had applied to join the first cohort out of whom 25 are women and 25 men.

Former Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf when she witnessed the Public Service Commission's inauguration of 50 fellows into a one year programme on Public Service. [Courtesy]

In a speech read by the Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua, President Uhuru Kenyatta said the public service commission needs to go beyond the entry-level staff and review on-going mid-career and senior leadership training programmes.

The president said this will ensure they provide the requisite skills to build a public sector of the future; a public sector that is fit for purpose,” he said.

Uhuru said Kenya has over the last 20 years made significant progress in modernising its public service to ensure those working in it remain efficient and effective in their duties.

“The performance management system has strengthened the effectiveness of the public sector, creating a sharper focus on results and impact,” said Uhuru.

The head of state said accountability has been increased through systematic stakeholder consultations at critical stages of programme development and implementation.

Emerging Leaders Foundation Africa Founder and Executive Director, Caren Wakoli, said the programme solely targets young people at the entry point of public service.

"They are going to learn about how to be citizen-centric, public sector ethos and values, and public sector leadership,” she said.

According to her, part of the benefits of this programme include the creation of a succession plan for the public service as the youth get to be mentored by those who have gone before them.

Her sentiments were echoed by PSC chairperson Ambassador Antony Muchiri who said the cohorts will be taken through a rigorous academic and practical program that is contextualised to local perspectives.

"It is purposely designed to promote a culture of collaboration that will harness an environment that is inclusive," he said.