Cohorts urged to emulate first generation of public servants

The first cohort of Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship (PSELF) was Tuesday unveiled at the Kenya International Conference Center (KICC).

The fellows comprising 25 young women and young men is the first of its kind in Kenya and is intended to nurture young leaders recruited from diverse sectors.

The program will provide mentorship and technical training in public service for effective delivery.

Speaking during the event, Public Service Commission chairperson Ambassador Antony Muchiri said the cohorts will be taken through a rigorous academic and practical program that is contextualized to local the perspective.

President Uhuru Kenyatta in a speech read by the Head of Public Service Dr. Joseph Kinyua urged the cohorts to emulate the first generation of public servants who were driven by the desire to serve fellow Kenyans.

Kenya needs a dynamic public service to effectively address the development challenges of the 21st Century and beyond, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

The President said this in a speech read by the Head of Public Service Dr. Joseph Kinyua during the inauguration of the first cohort of fellows under the Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship programmeat KICC on Tuesday 15th March 2022

“I encourage the Public Service Commission to go beyond the entry level staff, review on-going mid-career and senior leadership training programmes to ensure they provide the requisite skills to build a public sector of the future; a public sector that is fit for purpose,” he said.

The President said that Kenya has over the last 20 years made significant progress in modernizing its public service.

“The performance management system has strengthened the effectiveness of the public sector, creating a sharper focus on results and impact.  Accountability has been increased through systematic stakeholder consultations at critical stages of programme development and implementation,” he said.

TheHead of State noted that the Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship Programme seeks to nurture the next generation of public sector leaders to transform Kenya’s public service and make it more effective, ethical, service orientated, citizen-focused, and results driven.

He stated that the Public servants today are heirs of hard work and dedication of the foundational generation of public servants at independence.

“That pioneering generation was motivated by a strong desire to serve and to make a difference in the lives of their fellow Kenyans; and not a desire for personal gain,” he said.

The President challenged the first cohort of 50 fellowsto embrace the legacy of the first generation of public servants by emulating them.

“We have adopted this programme because, first, we recognize that an open democracy such as ours requires a fundamental reorientation of the public sector. Secondly, increasing demands on the public sector require better utilization of the limited national resources. Third, the public sector of the future must operate in an increasingly inter-connected world,” said the President.

The former President of the Republic of Liberia, Her Excellency Ellen Sirleaf Johnson who graced the occasion challenged the fellows as they begin their training to take advantage of the many professional developing opportunities that the program will provide.

” Let us as Africa celebrate our success and commitment of hard work and diligence that we see in our public service as we deepen our regional cooperation and integration towards aspirations of the goal set forth in our Africa agenda, for Africa that we want,” H.E Ellen.

The Chairperson, Public Service Commission Amb. Anthony Muchiri said the programme was targeting young, new entrants into the public service under the theme “Nurturing value-driven leaders.”

“The young men and women in front of you will be taken through a rigorous academic and practical programme which has been contextualised to the local perspective.  Together with my team and our partners, I will ensure that they are exposed to both the global and domestic perspectives of leadership,” he said.

The fifty fellows who will undergo a one-year training programme were competitively recruited from young 5,000 public servants who applied. They are all 35 years and below and have served between six months and one year in the public service.

The Public Service Commission is rolling out by the in collaboration with Emerging Public Leaders (EPL) – USA and Emerging Leaders Foundation (ELF) – Africa.

Its objective is to nurture young public servants joining the service to grow and become strong citizen-centric leaders through a carefully planned development path. It also aims to instill among the young leaders critical knowledge relating to values and principles of public service, public service systems and methods and public service leadership skills.

The programme was launched in November 2021 at KICC when the partners signed a memorandum of understanding for the collaboration.

Present at the inauguration ceremony were Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohammed;Head of Public Service Ghana, Mr. Nana Kwasi Dwamena; board members of the partners, EPL-USA and ELF-Africa; and Chandler Institute of Governance who helped develop the curriculum.

Others were PSC Commissioners; Principal Secretaries; and Directors of Human Resource from Ministries, State Departments and Agencies from which the fellows were recruited.

A similar program is successfully running in Ghana.


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