This Fellowship is a New Dawn; Let’s Make this Moment Count

Oliver Ochieng

My experience as a public servant working with the Public Service Commission so far as a great journey of learning, exposure to growth opportunities, and above all offering me a chance to serve the public. Service to me is something I hold with a high sense of patriotism which prompts me to go over, and above the call of duty at all times.

I joined the public service purely to serve my country, to steer the wheel of change forward so we can achieve the dreams of the founding fathers of this great Nation

From the onset, I believed that the need to offer the best services to the public, who in the public service are the clients, should be what drives every person who works in the public service. This in my view underscores the value and importance of principles. In my brief stint in the Public Service, I have learnt that a solid value system and set of principles remain the most dependable guiding force that can guarantee effective, efficient, and consistent service delivery in a selfless and human manner.

Since joining the Public Service Emerging Leaders Fellowship (PSELF) program, I had gained immense insights that have been central to the all-round adjustment that I have since made and continue to make. This fellowship has allowed me a prime opportunity to grasp some very useful tips, tools, and trends necessary for any citizen-centric public officer.

Case in point, I had never fully grasped the spirit of citizen-centrism. Half the time I did not even understand what is practically meant and how I could embody it in my day-to-day service to the people of this great republic. Thanks to this fellowship, now I am ever conscious to intentionally, and happily so, place the citizen at the centre of every consideration, every decision, and every action I take. Today I have a constant reminder to always ask myself what my actions or lack thereof mean for an average patriot.

The PSELF programme has also allowed me a very rich network over this one year. Through each segment I get to meet, interact with, and exchange thoughts with esteemed professionals from different disciplines. Different senior executives from Singapore’s Chandler Institute of Governance have for example given my colleagues and I front row seats to a blow-by-blow account of Southeast Asia country’s journey of progressive and steady socio-economic development. My ever-present challenge has always been, when the development story of Kenya is written and told, what will be said to have been my contribution during my time? Twelve months ago, I would not have thought that I have any meaningful contribution to any such story, but today, the PSELF programme has elevated my capacity to be valuable contributor to the growth and development of this nation, starting with effective service delivery.

Singapore is a high-income economy with a gross national income of US$54,530 per capita, as of 2017. The country provides one of the world’s most business-friendly regulatory environment for local entrepreneurs and is ranked among the world’s most competitive economies.

World Bank

The PSELF programme has taught me-and I hope my colleagues too-that the success of any nation squarely lies in the quality of its leadership. Now many times this is misconstrued and confined to just the national leadership. But as our learnings from the fellowship have demonstrated, leadership resides at my desk. As such all the 51 of us in the fellowship have been equipped, encouraged, motivated, and challenged to be carriers of the leadership we desire.

My belief is that Africa can and should inspire a lot of hope in her youth since the youth have the numerical might, talent, energy, passion, and adequate skills to exploit their potential beyond limits, for the continents lasting benefit. This in my view can be achieved if the nations of Africa genuinely and deliberately inspire their respective young people and empower them to a commitment that brings change.

Oliver Ochieng (far right) with his colleagues in the fellowship

For now, I share my challenge with my colleagues in this fellowship, friends, let us make this moment count.

The author is a PSELF Fellow who serves as a Human Resource Management and Development Officer in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

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