The public sector refers to the production, delivery and allocation of goods and services by and for the government or its citizens, whether at central or local government level. The public sector covers all government ministries and agencies of government.
Roles of Public Sector
The role of the public sector includes the following;
- The public sector provides the necessary infrastructure in terms of roads, railway, airports, and hospitals which are necessary to support the economic development of the country.
- The sector provides pubic services to the society and it is not driven by the profit motive.
- It oversees the economic development of the country
- It provides employment in the power sector and also acts as a model employer in terms of staff welfare matters.
- It encourages balanced regional development as government services are available in remote areas
- It is responsible for keeping economic development on the right course and therefore it can take corrective action in case need arises,
Challenges in Public Sector
The challenges of the public sector include the following:
- Lack of commitment from public servants to deliver quality service.
- There is a lot of corruption in the public.
- The public sector is quite big and keeping sufficient and accurate knowledge is often a challenge.
- The sector is often faced with poor leadership of public servants due to inadequate training.
- Public servants are often quite inefficient
- The government employees tend to live lavish lifestyles at the expense of the public.
- The resources of government are not effectively utilized as there is a lot of misuse and misallocation of government resources.
- There is also limitation of resources necessary for rendering quality services to the public
Opportunities in Public Sector
- Agribusiness and Food Processing, the World Bank is assisting with the privatization of the coffee sector, Burundi’s largest export earner. In 2008, Burundi began direct sales to foreign coffee buyers on a limited scale, and Burundian coffee has been consistently praised in specialty coffee markets for its excellent quality.
- Telecommunications and Information Technologies, the state-owned telecommunication company ONATEL’s assets are being evaluated for potential privatization and several new private service providers have recently entered the market.
- There are different public enterprises set to be privatized, two companies are most likely to be privatized during the year 2013. One is Air Burundi, the national carrier, where the government intends to sell 70 to 90% of the total shares. The second is Sosumo, a sugar company owned 99% by the government and where it intends to sell 25 to 30% of its shares. Discussions to determine the terms of sale of government shares in the two companies are well advanced.
- Energy sector, three hydroelectric projects with a total capacity of about 80 MW are still at the feasibility study stage and they are projected to be operational in 2017-2018 assuming necessary funds are available.
- Mining sector, comprehensive survey of Burundi’s mineral resources conducted in the 1980s confirmed the existence of large nickel deposits near the country’s northern border with Tanzania. Although large, commercial-scale mining has not yet begun, a number of foreign investors are interested in working in this region.