IN HONOR OF THE UN PUBLIC SERVICE DAY CELEBRATIONS 23 JUNE 2020
As it is custom, every year the month of June marks Public Service Celebrations celebrated by countries all round the globe. During this month we would normally have various activities like sports, singing, convention and excellence awards to acknowledge, recognise and celebrate the dedication and valuable contribution of Public officers to Government business. As we are all aware, COVID-19 brought with it a lot of changes not only to our work calender but our finances, and the way way we are accustomed to operate, that is why this year we couldn’t celebrate like we would have wished to.
I am here today to acknowledge and express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all the Public Service employees for their unending selfless service which the majority of them demonstrated even during the extreme lockdown when most people were at home, they had to continue serving the nation diligently.
It is therefore befitting for me to specially acknowledge all the frontline Public Service employees who continue to lead us selflessly in the fight against COVID-19. As a nation we are proud of your hardwork and I would like to urge and encourage you to continue to soldier on.
This year’s theme is ‘Action Today, Impact Tomorrow-Innovating and
Transforming Public Services and Institutions to realise the Sustainable Development Goals.’
The background to the annual United Nations Public Service Day celebrations is to acknowledge and recognise the worth of Public Service employees as well as to highlight their contribution to the community at large. In 2016 the review of the celebrations was done and the United Nations found it appropriate to align the celebrations with the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
It is therefore my honor and priviledge that today I would like to congratulate Ministry of Basic Education’s e-Thuto project for being a recipient of the prestigious 2020 United Nations Public Service Awards (UNPSA) under the category of ‘Promoting digital transformation in the Public Sector’. Were it not for the pandemic and associated travel restrictions, the Team would have travelled to South Korea to receive the award. The e-Thuto’s creative initiative was about ‘ICT Integration into Teaching and Learning.’
Ministry of Basic Education’s E-Thuto Project Team has made us super proud as a country, more so that their project is relevant to the new normal of digital transformation brought about by COVID-19 challenges.
As we continue in our journey to transform Botswana from a resourced based to a knowledge economy, we urge all Public Service employees and Batswana at large to explore their innovative and creative capabilities to come up with more sustainable projects like e-Thuto, to innovate, leapfrog and speed the socio economic development of this country, and create a legacy that future generations will all be proud of.
Since the year 2012 when Botswana joined through excellence awards and innovative projects, the celebrations grew not only aesthetically but also in the presentation of more innovative projects which if pursued further the projects could achieve desirable output for the benefit of the society at large.
I would further like to acknowledge the fact that we would be where we are as Public Service if it wasn’t for the support of our major stakeholders being our Public Service Unions. Their support and contribution to the smooth running of the Public Service is greatly appreciated and it will definitely take our country to greater heights.
It is throught partnerships and networks like the ones we have with our Public Service Unions that we continually make use of the platform to exchange experiences ranging from best practices; innovative ideas and approaches for improved service delivery.
Governments the world over thrive because of the selfless commitment, dedication and invaluable contribution of their Public Service. This is why the United Nations decided to set aside a day for the celebration of the value and virtue of the Public Service.
I would like to also encourage Ministries and Departments to find more innovative ways of rewarding excellence and hardwork.
Let us not wait for the next actual Public Service Day celebrations because employees always explore more innovative and creative ways of achieving more with less in their daily work activities. That is why it is important to always motivate staff and acknowledge hard work.
In conclusion, let us continute to work together as innovative and proactive united teams who strive to take our Botswana to greater heights by offering an efficient and effective service.
KABO MORWAENG IS THE MINISTER FOR PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS, GOVERNANCE
AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION