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Public Service Commission Launches Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship of Kenya

By Thomas Ochieng Nairobi 24/11/21 Public Service Commission Launches Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship of Kenya with Partners Emerging Public Leaders and Emerging Leaders Foundation – Africa

As part of the government’s ongoing work to build an effective civil service corps, today the Public Service Commission (PSC) announced the launch of the Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship of Kenya alongside two non-profit partners, Emerging Public Leaders and Emerging Leaders Foundation – Africa. The Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship programme is an intergenerational effort to re-engage Kenya’s youth in public service and administration, by driving the recruitment of young, ethical talent into public service, to improve government delivery and citizen outcomes and influence long-term social policy and change.

“The rallying theme for this Fellowship Programme is “Nurturing value-driven leaders”. This theme was deliberately chosen to focus the programme on the goal of raising a new generation of young public servants imbued and teeming with high integrity, ethical and moral standards. These standards among others are the subject of the national values and principles of governance in Article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and also the Public Service Commission Act, 2017.
The rationale for this program can be seen against the backdrop of current and historical factors that have negatively impacted service delivery and indeed the reputation of the public service, hence the need for a new generation of public servants that will help restore the good old reputation of public service and ensure efficient and effective service delivery to the citizens of this great country.”CPA Charity S. Kisotu, EBS, Vice-Chair Public Service Commission

Kenya’s Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship programme will support the development of 50 future government leaders annually, focusing on public-sector specific leadership development, ethics cultivation and citizen-centred government delivery. The fellowship will include year-round responsive training, hands-on mentorship, community service engagement and continuous career development support, including networking opportunities among pan-African alumni.

The fellowship officially launched on Tuesday morning at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre and was attended by Prof. Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes; Commissioners of the Public Service Commission led by Charity Kisotu, Vice-Chairperson and Commissioner Dr. Mary Mwiandi. Dr. Simon K. Rotich, Commission Secretary and CEO of the PSC; Dr. Sylvester Obong’o Director, Performance Management and Service Delivery Transformation at the PSC; Yawa Hansen-Quao, Global Executive Director of Emerging Public Leaders(EPL); Caren Wakoli, Founder and Executive Director of Emerging Leaders Foundation (ELF); and Charles T. Sunkuli, Principal Secretary, State Department for Youth, Ministry of Information, Communication, Technology, Innovation and Youth Affairs.

“Public servants can never be appreciated enough. Theirs is a selfless commitment to not only to do the day job but mostly to deliver irreplaceable services to the people. Over the years we have seen, interacted with and experienced the wave of transformation that now characterises the public service in Kenya. These efforts are commendable as access to, and affordability of critical services have simplified the lives of millions of Kenyans,” said Caren Wakoli, Executive Director of Emerging Leaders Foundation.

The experiences of the dedicated public servants behind this growth and the accompanying institutional memory have to be passed on to emerging leaders within the public service. If there is a way to guarantee the efficiency and impact of this, that way is the Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship. Entrusting the future of the public service to the current and future generations is a near bullet-proof initiative that will not only ensure continuity, but also attract more young women and men to step up and serve their country both at the national and county levels.”

Speaking during the launch, the chief guest, Prof. Margaret Kobia said that the Fellowship is a “relevant learning and development programme”, ‘‘It is timely in the public service and will go a long way in strengthening value-based leadership and supporting institutional building” she added.

The Cabinet Secretary for Public Service went ahead to say that under the Fellowship, “youth will be trained to apply their talents and enhance efficiency in public service delivery”.

Anchored in a competitive recruitment process, the fellowship trains and develops Kenya’s most promising young civil servants for future leadership, supporting them with mentors, connecting them with a pan-African peer network and providing them with ongoing support to grow their public service careers.

This fellowship builds on the work achievements of Emerging Public Leaders in Ghana and its sister organization, the President’s Young Professional Program, founded by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Liberia. The Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship programme of Kenya represents the first implementation of this model in East Africa and realizes the goal of building a truly pan-African network of civil service professionals who can support each other through long, productive careers in government. The model provides a new pathway for developing public service leaders focused on the youthful talent across the public service. In future, this model may also provide a pathway for talented young professionals from sectors outside government to join the sections of the public service. The ultimate aim of the fellowship is to improve government performance and governance as well as restore prestige to the civil service across Africa.

As Global Executive Director of Emerging Public Leaders, Ms. Yawa Hansen-Quao, acknowledged, “After more than a decade of working with African governments, we have seen first-hand that investing in and supporting the next generation of public service leaders is transformative. When public service institutions are strong and responsive, it recasts the image of the government and the country. Through the Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship, we are proud to help catalyze a new generation of public service leaders who will drive efficiency and performance, help to advance innovation and ensure long-term development and growth in Kenya.”

The Public Service Fellows will experience a specially designed curriculum, which incorporates learning, good practices, and knowledge from Kenya and around the world. Designed in collaboration with the Chandler Institute of Governance, an international non-profit organisation based in Singapore, the curriculum will be defined by its strong practitioner orientation.

Deputy Executive Director of the Chandler Institute of Governance, Mr. Kenneth Sim, affirmed the importance of the Fellowship, adding “CIG and our partners have worked hard to design the curriculum for the Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship Programme of Kenya. The concepts of good governance and effective public policy must be rooted in each country’s priorities and context, but there are valuable insights that can be shared across national boundaries. Through this collaboration, we hope to bring an international perspective and our brand of practitioner-focused learning to the Fellowship.”

For appointment as a Public Service Fellow, individual applicants must have served as employees of the Public Service Commission in any Ministry, State Department or Agency, for a period of between six months and one year. In addition, the applicant must be 35 years old or younger, a graduate of a recognized university, having graduated in 2015 or later, and demonstrate proficiency in key software programmes.

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