Public administration reform in Central African countries:  the way forward

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    The paper observes the transformation of the political system from a single political to a multi-political party. The essence of this transformation was to accommodate another political culture within the system of governance in the country. This article analyses public sector administration reform in three countries of the Central Africa Region (Republic of Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Republic of Congo. This paper will endeavor to respond to the following question: Why public sector reform in these three countries? Furthermore, the paper will also attempt to validate the need for public sector reform which should be undertaken when the government realises that there is a problem which needs to be resolved in the government institutions. The methodology used in this paper is solely based on the qualitative research approach which will help to understand the applicability of public administration reform in the Central Africa Region. The paper will argue that reform is extremely slow paced in each country. The situation in Cameroon is very complex due to decentralisation being legislated in 2004. However, there have been challenges with the implementation of the legislation governing decentralisation. The State President has personally appointed the majority of the governors and senior government officials in the various provinces. Since the new ministry in the Cameroon presidency assumed accountable public procurement, the ‘other’ reforms have been implemented and meeting the needs of the communities. The reform in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) also represents its own difficulties. Despite the enactment of the constitution in 2006, there is a distinct lack of reform in the public service. One of the key reforms for the current government is the decentralisation of government institutions. However, local government elections have not been held since 2006. Consequently, reformation has been extremely slow paced with limited reform in the last 8 years. The delegation of absolute autonomy to the provincial government with regard to the management of the provinces was a bold act by the DRC government which was well received by the citizens. In terms of public finance, central government has been faced by numerous challenges especially with the release of the provincial budget. Reformation in Congo Brazzaville has encountered many difficulties because of the lack of qualified human capital in the government institutions. Another critical factor which has contributed towards reformation is the authoritarian system of government. One can infer that a democratically elected regime could contribute positively towards a transformed society in all the above-mentioned countries.