Communiqué: Council of African Cabinet Secretaries
We, the African Cabinet Secretaries and representatives of other African Cabinet Secretaries, having met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 3-7 February 2014, have agreed to establish the Africa Cabinet Government Network as a permanent organisation to provide formal and informal opportunities for collaboration, mutual support and sharing practical experiences.
This decision reflects our shared commitment to evidence-informed Cabinet decision-making by our governments and effective implementation of Cabinet decisions.
The Network also facilitates technical assistance to Cabinet Secretariats and others involved in managing Cabinet processes in Africa.
To achieve this, we have today established the Council of African Cabinet Secretaries to lead the Network and bring together those who have the responsibility of supporting and managing the collective Cabinet decision-making in our respective jurisdictions. The Cabinet Secretaries from Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda (who was unable to attend the workshop), Sierra Leone, Somalia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zanzibar are foundation members of the Council. Other African Cabinet Secretaries are being invited to join.
At its inaugural meeting today, the Council elected Dr Ernest Surrur, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service of the Government of Sierra Leone, as President of the Council. Dr Momo Rogers, Director General to the Cabinet, Government of Liberia, Mr Abdon Agaw Jok Nhial, Secretary General of the Government of South Sudan, and Dr Roland Msiska, Secretary to the Cabinet of the Government of the Republic of Zambia, have been elected Vice Presidents for West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa Regions respectively.
Despite some differences among our systems of government, we share many common objectives and challenges. We are all committed to strengthening the support we provide our Cabinets, especially to ensure that policy proposals are informed by evidence, leading to decisions that can be successfully implemented and monitored.
During the workshop we explored practical ways to improve Cabinet procedures and build capacity within Cabinet Secretariats and line Ministries. We seek to use systematic procedures and processes to produce better outcomes in the national interest. We identified ways of improving the quality of policy proposals coming before Cabinet, recognizing the importance of evidence to inform policy formulation, implementation and the monitoring and evaluation of Cabinet initiatives.
We look forward to future meetings and interactions in a spirit of co-operation and enthusiasm for mutual learning and support across Africa. With an expanded group of Cabinet Secretaries, we will seek to build on this excellent foundation and learn more from one another about practical ways to support our Governments to make and implement policy for the good of our respective citizens.
We appreciate the funding provided by the UK Government for the African Cabinet Government Network and we look forward to building support from additional sources. We also wish to thank the organisers, Adam Smith International, and the presenters at the workshop.
We express our gratitude to the Ghanaian Delegation for accepting our proposal to host the next roundtable workshop.
Finally we give our thanks to the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia for hosting us during this period, and to our various governments for allowing us to participate in this initiative.
Dr Ernest Surrur, 7th February, 2014
President, Council of African Cabinet Secretaries