From February 28 to March 2, 2007, the Government of Mozambique, with the support of Nathan’s Trade and Investment Project in Mozambique, hosted a seminar for ministers, deputy ministers, and permanent secretaries to build teamwork, exchange ideas and experience, and invigorate leadership and management of national development. President Armando Emilio Guebuza and Prime Minister Luisa Diogo required the entire cabinet to attend.
Conceived of by President Guebuza as part of his public sector reform program, the seminar featured international experts discussing practical problems of public administration and management, and speaking at length on eight development themes:
Speakers included development experts and officials from Mozambique, Ghana, Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. Nathan Associates’ Chief Economist, Dr. Bruce Bolnick, coordinated expert panels and spoke on development and economics, globalization, and competitiveness. Also speaking were Dr. Steve Radelet of the Center for Global Development and Dr. Frank Flatters, Professor Emeritus from Queens University in Canada.
Speakers stimulated lively discussion of vital matters in Mozambique. The discussion of economic issues revealed a strong consensus on the two things essential to development: a vibrant private sector and an efficient and effective public sector. Discussion of practical matters covered steps the government could take to improve competitiveness, such as reducing the costs of doing business and enhancing national productivity by maintaining macroeconomic stability, building the national infrastructure, and delivering better education and health services. Much debated were protectionist interventions and subsidies of domestic producers.
In opening the seminar, President Guebuza insisted that leaders accelerate the pace of change to ensure that “tomorrow will be better than today” and that improvement requires coordinated leadership, frank discussion of challenges, and new public-service oriented attitudes and behavior in government. In closing the conference, Prime Minister Diogo stressed that government leaders must initiate change to promote economic development and eliminate poverty.
The seminar was organized and run by Mozambique’s National Public Service Authority, with funding and technical support from USAID and DfID. Nathan Associates recruited and coordinated panels of international experts and helped plan, organize, and implement the seminar. Only Mozambican government officials and the invited international speakers attended the seminar.
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