Public service in Africa

The 2018 Mo Ibrahim Forum Report paints a very poor picture of the state of Africa’s public services. The reports covers a variety of sectors -- from safety and security, health, education, climate change to justice -- and illustrates these issues with facts and figures. Nearly all African governments fail to deliver essential public services to their citizens; the demand for quality services is quickly rising, particularly in urban settings. A majority of African citizens are in favour of paying for public services. The report highlights the need to build a sound contract between citizens and public service providers. Citizen dissatisfaction with how African governments are addressing educational and health needs has grown over the last decade. Only three countries - Libya, Mauritius and Tunisia, have at least one doctor per 1 000 people. In Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, private health expenditure levels are higher than 70%. Between 30-50% of Africa’s total tax liability remains uncollected. “Public service is the pillar of governance. Without strong public services and committed public servants, there will be no efficient delivery of expected public goods and services, nor implementation of any commitment, however strongly voiced,” says Mo Ibrahim. Key findings from the report were discussed on 28 April at the 2018 Ibrahim Forum in Kigali, Rwanda.