Public sector reform programme in sub-saharan Africa: a case study of Rwanda 1995-2005
This dissertation aims at examining the challenges of introducing Public Sector Reforms (PSR) in sub-Saharan African countries in general, with specific focus on the Civil Service Reforms in Rwanda from 1995 to 2005. Sub-Saharan Africa, comprising some of the poorest countries in the world, has pursued public sector reform programmes to improve delivery of services vital to socio-economic development. The reform efforts have largely been externally driven with assistance from international financial institutions and donor countries. Despite these reform initiatives, there is still inefficiency in the delivery of public services in many sub-Saharan African countries. Some of the measures pursued to improve service delivery have ranged from decentralisation, privatisation, performance based contracts, and a host of other measures. Some of the most serious challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa today include corruption, inadequate resources for fmancing government development programmes, institutional incapacity, just to mention but a few. There is need for a fundamental turnaround in attitude and behaviour in relation to decision making or systems of delegation, without merely changing organograms and procedures which may have little or no impact on the performance of public servants. As a way of charting out her development agenda, Rwanda's reform programme is premised on Vision 2020, the country's blue-print for development. In the said vision, Rwanda seeks to become a medium income country operating in a knowledge based economy, using ICTs to achieve this ambition. Rwanda's development is dependent on the capacity and skills of her human resource base coupled with an efficient public sector working closely with a private sector, the future engine of the country's development. The reforms discussed in this study take cognisance of the period prior to 1994 that traces the genesis of the reform programme. The study further exammes the period between 1995 and 2005, during which time the country's reconstruction and development programmes was carried out. In exammmg Rwanda's case, the study relies on current policy documents from the Government of Rwanda (GOR), especially the Ministries of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA), Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN), Civil Service Reform Reports (CSR), various Government institutions and departments, newspaper articles, and other publications relevant to the study. The role of the state is critically examined and the public sector is viewed as being continuously under pressure to adopt private sector style of management with the view to delivering better services to the citizens of Rwanda. The study critically examines whether or not the changes introduced have produced results in solving the country's socio-economic challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa in general and Rwanda in particular and also examines the role ofICTs in the country's socio-economic transformation and notes that there are still obstacles to achieving a knowledge based economy.