The appointment of Mr. Ramathan Ggoobi as the new Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has triggered a sense of euphoria on Twitter, a platform that is patronised by Ugandan elites.
A big Tweep himself, some of Ggoobi’s more than 40,000 followers on Twitter, as well as friends, public policy analysts from diverse backgrounds as law, media and academia, have singled out his, as a deserved appointment.
Some of the rave reviews accompanying Ggoobi’s appointment perhaps arise from the fact that he is being put in charge of steering policy design and implementation in a field that he has consistently been critical of as an academic.
Right from the time when he used to publish his weekly column in The Sunrise titled ‘Are You Listening Mr. President,’ through his numerous public speeches and innumerable research papers, Ggoobi has preached equality and a bigger role of government than Uganda currently has, to improve the lives of many ordinary people.
Ggoobi’s new task as P.S in the Ministry of Finance is not an easy one though. The position, according to recent practice, makes him the Head of all Accounting officers in all ministries and government agencies.
As an academic, and generally an outsider in the way things have been run in the ministry, this task will require a lot of learning on the job, while at the same time facing the pressure of delivering on several other mandates in the very important Ministry of Finance.
One of Ggoobi’s primary tasks, will be to implement the Merging of Government Departments and Agencies, which he has strongly advocated, as a consultant, working with the Ministry of Public Service. Other touchy subjects that he will have to deal with include implementation of pay reform measures recently proposed by the government.