There is nothing more reassuring to the citizens than knowing that their government is efficient, accountable and transparent in service delivery. We know that most governments are just too inefficient at almost everything. There is too much wastage and lack of coherence in almost all aspects of national governance. Government is a very big thing. It’s very gigantic to the point of being amorphous. Sometimes government becomes too inefficient to such buffling levels that even those who serve in it are ashamed. It’s true that citizens in even the most efficient countries still complain and demand for more. But there are governments that seem to get everything wrong. What causes this? According to World Economic Forum, Rwanda runs the most efficient government in Africa and is the seventh worldwide. The most efficient government in the world is Qatar, followed by Singapore. The most inefficient government is Venezuela.
Somehow one would have expected Nigeria and Uganda to feature somewhere among the worst. Uganda is number 86 while Nigeria is the second last. Uganda has only 320,000 civil servants serving a population of 45 Million people. This number excludes politicians. It’s not well understood whether inefficiency is perpetuated by civil servants or politicians or both. Most governments especially in Africa don’t target to become efficient. They are not interested in this because it calls for leaders working diligently and becoming more accountable and transparent. Everywhere citizens have greater expectations from government than it will ever fulfil.
But some governments are simply too inefficient and wasteful. One of the weaknesses of government is failure at coordination level. It’s very important for government to determine and spell out the roles of it’s agencies and how they ought to execute their mandate. Most times there is duplication and at worst you find that two or three agencies are trying to implement certain programmes that would have been implemented by a single agency. One example that comes to mind in Uganda’s case is the duplication of roles and responsibilities by Ministry of Works and Transport, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and the Ministry of Local Government. All these entities have a role to play in the development of cities and urban areas. Most times each of these agencies come up with piecemeal documents and guidelines that are often too isolated and inconsequential to the challenges of urban areas. Many times the agencies act singly without consulting each other. In one of the local languages there is a saying that “When birds fly without knowing each other’s plans, their wings will flap against each other.