Jul 11, 2014, 9:53 AM
The Vice-President and Minister of Women's Affairs, Isatou Njie-Saidy, has opined that the attainment of Vision 2020 and PRSP II cannot only anchor on improved infrastructure systems and processes, but also on sustained positive changes in our attitudes towards work and nation-building.
Vice-President Njie-Saidy, who was speaking yesterday at the Paradise Suites Hotel on the occasion marking the commemoration of Africa Public Service Day, on the theme "Better Attitudes for a Better Public Service," said "we as a nation must understand and accept that true patriotism transcends political, ethnic and religious affiliations."
The day was set aside based on the declaration of the first Pan-African Conference of Ministers of Public (and Civil) Service held in
It is commemorated annually with the objective of honouring all the women and men, whose responsibility it is to serve the people of
According to the Vice-President, the current Public Service Reform Programme has identified Performance Management as a key component that needs to be addressed, if there is going to be any sustainable reform in The Gambia.
"You will agree with me that our attitudes have a lot to do with our performance in the office," she said, adding that every citizen has a sacred responsibility to defend and protect the national interest even where it comes to conflict with our personal interest.
"In order words, in anything we do, especially in public office, national interest must always come first," she stated.
She added that in order to effect positive attitudinal change, it is necessary first of all to identify the negative manifested in our behaviour, which needs to be addressed and reformed. Some of them, she noted, have become so securely embedded in our psyche that we failed to recognise them and their devastating effects on ourselves and our society.
Vice-President Njie-Saidy also stated that our attitudes through our behaviours affect every aspect of our lives, relationships and environment and determine our perception of and our impact on our nation.
"Negative attitudes regulate our expectations and to a large extent modify our objectivity and compromise our rationality. The more negative our perception, the more anti-social, unpatriotic and irrational is our behavior," she said.
She noted that by working together in collaborative partnerships on a sustained and continuous effort, we can expect positive changes in our culture of democracy, political tolerance and good citizenship, public service responsibilities, accountabilities and transparency.
The lack of patriotism, she went on, is a significant gap in our national character. "It is a barrier to internal peace and development and must be given the highest priority in the eradication of negative attitudes.
One way of addressing this problem is to revisit our educational curriculum and incorporate indigenous cultural values e.g. family linkages, respectful care for the aged and infirm and tender care to cushion the disadvantaged," she added.
Vice -Njie-Saidy further stated that the dream of "greener pasture" must be replaced by a determined effort to make our own pastures greener.
"Our heroes and heroines, our religions, our music, artifacts, our monuments, dress and cultural practices needs to be elevated and preserved to underline our identity," she added.
"In spite of the numerous initiatives registered in our public sector today, it is evident that the attainment of Vision 2020 and PRSP II cannot only anchor on improved infrastructure systems and processes, but also on sustained positive changes in our attitudes towards work and to nation-building."