26 December 2012

Angola: SME Modernisation, Humanisation of Prisons Top Activity

Luanda — The modernisation of the Migration and Foreigner Services (SME) and decentralisation of the migratory activity, coupled with repair of prisons towards improving the inmates' condition were the top tasks carried out by the Interior Ministry (MININT) in the 2012 period.

As to the SME, 2012 was the period for investments in new technologies, upgrade and valuing of human resources and approximation of establishment to the public.

With effect, the SME plan of modernisation and excellence called PROMOEX, appeared as one of the more comprehensive initiatives of institutions, thus contributing to a multi-disciplinary action in various field of the institution.

It is, in fact, a vision of strive on the part of the SME management, in envisaging an ambitious initiative, but at the same time, based on means of realistic realisation, in front of challenges of change the managers of MININT at all levels are confronted with.

The programme substantiates in the renewal of the SME corporative image, associated with a better communication with the public, provision of qualify electronic services that reduce the need for the physical presence of the public and the waiting time, besides the development of a computer security strategy and upgrade of human resources.

PROMOEX is based on three well designed strategic pillars. The first has to do with an institutional identity strategy, seeking to equip the SME with a stronger corporative image and more and more coherent on all foundations of organizational attitude, regarding ollaborators and development of a virtually interactive and effective communication platform.

Concerning the information technologies, which is the second pillar, the programme reinforced the sustainability of the SME ganizational strategy with a mixed investment in security and feasibility at the level of the electronic communication and virtual presence in the internet more and more powerful, coupled with the systems of past, present and future file migrating to digital platforms.

The strategy on human resources sustains the third pillar of the program. The body sought to adjust better and better its staff to future challenges and recognition of merit to those who do their best to strengthen the institution.

In addition, considerable efforts were made to eliminate objectionable ethical behavior within the organisation, such as extortion, inappropriate language and lack of civility in the relationship with the citizen.

Also in the year 2012, the SME continued the process of decentralisation of the migratory activity, which facilitated the access of nationals to its services, with the installation of the services in previously selected areas, together with the presentation of technological reforms to combat illegal immigration and human trafficking.

Moreover, the creation of detention centers for illegal aliens in the provinces of Luanda, Moxico and Cabinda were also substantial steps toward ensuring a qualitative leap in the relationship of the Immigration Service with illegal immigrants.

As to the Prison Services, working with issues related to comfort and safety of facilities, stimulating employment and social reintegration of prisoners and the economic and financial sustainability of the prison system itself, proved not to be an easy task.

But still, a remarkable job was done in the recovery and creation of new infrastructures to accommodate prisoners' concerns and widened the range of prisons with classrooms for elementary and secondary education.

Especially because the Ministry itself has a clear picture of the importance and the multiplying effect of the investment in education in its various aspects at the level of the Prison Service, which now comprises a population close to 20,000 inmates, of whom about

80 percent are illiterate, and more than 60 percent of young people at working and productive age.

In addition, a programme has also been launched called "New Direction, New Opportunities", designed by the Executive for the prison system, with a view to an increasingly humanist and harmonious setting between the enforcement of discipline and promotion of successful rehabilitation, by offering new opportunities to the prison population.

The program is already evident in some prisons and follows a vision of responsibility for the future of many people with a combined action of the MININT and the Prison Service.

Wuako Kungo, in the province of Kwanza Sul, Quindoki (Uige), Cabocha (Bengo), Bentiaba (Namibe) and Viana in Luanda, host the first phase of the project which includes the cultivation of key species as maize, cassava, tomato, onion, banana, as well as cattle breeding.

It includes pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, material technology, textile products, metal-mechanics, among others.

It is worth noting that the national prison estate is mostly inherited from an era before national independence, built decades ago. Therefore, due to the growth in the prison population, overcrowding is inevitable

Two years ago, there were 18,959 inmates in prisons in the country, against an internment capacity of 11,692. A year later, with some work on the expansion of the facilities, and training investments made, the population went up to 12,201 for a total capacity of 19,056 inmates.

It was against this background that the plan of expansion of the prison infrastructure was approved to address the problem of overcrowding.

In short, by combining the plan of expansion of prison infrastructure with the results of the programme of rehabilitation of inmates, conditions were created for their full social re-integration and with significant reduction of recurrence

As to the National Civil Protection and Fire (SNPCB) it was notable the active participation of those MININT forces in the fight fires of small, medium and large proportions, occurring throughout the country.

As for the bathing area, the "Safe Beaches Programme" revolutionised the experience of coastal beaches, rivers and lakes around the country, through a fight against the risk of drowning, strengthening of surveillance, technical means of intervention and adequate training of human resources.

The first phase of the project has already started, with the deployment of lifeguards and various means of surveillance and intervention on the ground. The following phases, focusing on raising awareness and public information, coupled with investment in environmental quality of beaches and promotion of tourism will be develop soon.

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