The Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA), Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey, has urged government to insist on marketing training for all public sector organisations.
According to him, building marketing capacities and applying contemporary marketing techniques would help improve upon public sector delivery and contribute to accelerated national development.
"It is my anticipation that sooner than later in this country, it would be extremely difficult to establish the difference between private sector and public sector organisations so far as quality delivery,organizational efficiency, productivity and excellence in service performance are concerned," Prof. Amartey noted.
He was speaking in Accra at a public lecture under the theme, "Public sector marketing: a catalyst for national development."
Citing UPSA as an example, Prof. Amartey indicated that, the university was successfully transformed from a young and less known public sector university to a leading university in Africa with the use of marketing, saying, "we can assist other public organisations to achieve same."
He stated that, it was widely believed that the three areas which represented the most challenging aspects of public sector performance in the country were performance, accountability and service delivery.
"Due to weak organisational drive for performance, the absence of results oriented culture and capacity for monitoring at the upstream level, Ghana has lost many opportunities to improve the delivery of public services to her citizens, Prof. Amartey said.
According to him, the consequence was a deterioration in government effectiveness and overall quality of public administration, contributing to low economic growth and development.
He proposed that, every public sector institution should have a qualified professional marketer on its board to help shape decisions at the board.
This, Prof. Amartey said, would require some changes to the Acts of some public institutions adding that,"the last time I checked on the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) board, there was no marketer."
He urged public sector organisations to create and empower marketing units which would be occupied by trained marketing personnel to lead the value creation process and develop customer oriented offerings to meet customer needs while retaining value.
"Beyond restructuring, public sector firms will need to adopt a marketing mindset which enjoins them to adopt modern day marketing practices, improve service quality and ensure effective client service,"Prof. Amartey said.
To ensure easy application of marketing in the public sector, he proposed a system with a decentralised control of resources, which explored other service delivery models to achieve better results.
"A system that enforces compliance and performance audits through transparent means to review accomplishments, setting benchmarks, using protocols to ameliorate professional behaviour and keeping the score cards objectives," Prof. Amartey added.