In a significant move to improve public service management, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda met with a delegation from the Republic of Azerbaijan on 25/07/2023.
The delegation, led by His Excellency Ulvi Mehdiyev, Chairman of the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations, introduced the “ASAN” concept to President Museveni.
ASAN, meaning “easy” in Azerbaijani, is a state agency for public services that aims to provide citizens with more accessible services through modern technologies. The agency was initiated eleven years ago by the President of Azerbaijan, His Excellency Ilham Aliyev, as part of large-scale reforms in public administration.
The meeting, held at State House Entebbe, was attended by officials from the Ministry of Public Service. Chairman Mehdiyev and his delegation presented the ASAN concept to President Museveni, seeking to replicate the successful model in Uganda.
“ASAN Service proved quite a revolutionary initiative. Since its inception, ‘ASAN Service’ has gained global recognition for its excellence in public service and social innovations and quickly evolved into Azerbaijan’s unique intellectual property,” stated H.E. Mehdiyev, who was pleased to receive a warm welcome from President Museveni.
The two leaders discussed the possibility of establishing an ASAN-based Service Uganda Center in the country. President Museveni expressed his eagerness to collaborate and announced his readiness to lay the foundation stone for the center, jointly with President Aliyev of Azerbaijan.
Notably, Uganda and Azerbaijan had previously signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2018 to implement the Azerbaijani “ASAN Service” experience in Uganda. Since then, the Ministry of Public Service and “ASAN Service” have engaged in close cooperation, organizing mutual visits for collaborative growth.
Mr Mehdiyev emphasized that implementing the ASAN concept in Uganda would significantly contribute to the further development of the welfare of the Ugandan people. He proposed that the inauguration ceremony for the Uganda Center be held during the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Kampala Summit, which President Aliyev is expected to attend next year.
The friendly relations between Uganda and Azerbaijan have fostered collaboration in various areas, including trade, investment, and public services. As Uganda prepares to host the 19th NAM Summit under the theme ‘Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence’ at the Speke Resort Munyonyo in January 2024, President Museveni will take over the chairmanship of the organization from President Ilham Aliyev.
Mr Mehdiyev also called for Uganda’s support in establishing the NAM women’s platform, suggesting a joint initiative between the two nations. The meeting concluded with positive prospects for a fruitful partnership between Uganda and Azerbaijan in their pursuit of enhanced public services and welfare for their citizens.