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Peter Mutharika wants cabinet secretaries to be efficient

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President Peter Mutharika has said cabinet secretaries have to be fully-equipped for them to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in cabinet decision making.

Mutharika made the remarks in Lilongwe on Monday during the official opening of Third Africa Cabinet Secretaries round table meeting.

“It is your duty to ensure availability of evidence to Cabinet. This includes, among other things, making sure that all relevant stakeholders at all levels, including the beneficiaries of the policies, are engaged sufficiently in the development of the policy,” Mutharika said.

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He said it is the duty of cabinet secretaries to ensure that appropriate procedures are developed to guide the policy-making process.

“If Africa is to move forward, we cannot tolerate haphazard policy development. We cannot accept policies that do not listen to the people, to the procedures, and to evidence. But we must also consider building institutional capacity as well. It is, therefore, imperative that staff who work in Cabinet Secretariats and line ministries are equipped with the right skills,” Mutharika said.

President of Council of African Cabinet Secretaries, Ernest Surrur, stressed the need for African solutions to African problems.

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“African problems deserve African solutions and can only be discussed at African level, not to be influenced from outside because many times the advice we get from outside may not work in the best interest of our continent. That is why we have decided to come together, as a group of committed cabinet secretaries to help our governments in taking good decision,” he said.

He said evidence-based decisions must not be in conflict with politics.

“I believe that evidence-informed decision making needs not to be in conflict with some political decision making. Developing policies that are feasible, and working on providing benefits to our nations is good politics. What we need to understand is that our people outside there are waiting for services to be delivered. They are not interested in intricacies of how those decisions are taken,” Surrur said.

The workshop is taking place up to Friday. Some countries represented at the workshop are Botswana, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Liberia.

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