This new JobnetAfrica blog is written by guest blogger Leona Harrison from Specialty Fuel Services. We've learned a lot from this article and we hope you will as well.
While Africa is an attractive place for investment, the investments are exposed to a number of risks that may be considered higher than in other places in the world. Risks such as antisocial and criminal behavior, interference by third parties and security attacks can result in devastating effects on the normal runnings of government entities.
These effects can be more catastrophic especially if there is no business continuity management to offer the essential guide for risk mitigation and management. However, government agencies can leverage on business continuity management to be more resilient and realize a number of its numerous benefits.
1. Boost investor confidence
Any form of investment today comes with one form of risk or another. This is also the case with investments made by public finances. The risks could result in losses such as financial losses, reputational losses or other forms of losses. While this is true, business continuity management can help mitigate such risks. This is vital as it will send a message to private investors that their investments are safe with the particular government and being properly utilized. This will, in turn, help the government in question have access to the much-needed finances from investors and donors. The investment will be used for the provision of key services and for developments needed to advance African economies.
2. Minimize risk exposure or losses during a disaster
Government agencies operate in an open environment hence are constantly exposed to both internal and external risks. Calamities such as acts of terrorism, loss of vital information, workforce disruption and security attacks can have devastating effects on the normal operations of a government. The good news though is that business continuity management can help government agencies and governments in general to mitigate such risks. Once the government has a comprehensive understanding of the various threats, they can come up with ways to either avoid them entirely and make it resilient or recover in the event the crisis happens. They may also cushion some of its parts from the disaster hence completely avoid any losses.
3. Governments continue to offer services
One of the primary functions of the government is to offer basic services to the citizens through agencies. In case of an emergency, lacking an appropriate structure in place can disrupt this function. This can have catastrophic effects on concerned parties such as the citizens that receive the disrupted services. Business continuity management evaluates risks and helps governments come up with ways to mitigate risks or even procedures that ensure they recover from any crisis. This, in turn, ensures that citizens continue to enjoy the services such as healthcare and security that are offered by the government even after a crisis.
4. Efficiency and cooperation
Business continuity management often involves a detailed study of the various government agencies. This study is vital as it helps identify potential crisis that may happen to any of the agencies and ways to mitigate such risks. Furthermore, the research can be used as a backbone of integrating operations of various government bodies to reduce the risk exposure and promote efficiency. Moreover, the study can help the government to eliminate weaknesses in its operations which can lead to efficiency in its performance. Efficiency and cooperation between government agencies will likely lead to them performing better.
5. A pragmatic response to a disaster
During a crisis, a lack of coordination and clear guidelines can lead to more losses. Panic and confusion can be more damaging. However, business continuity management can help governments by providing a pragmatic response to a disaster. It can offer essential procedures and systems which can be vital in getting the provision of basic services and normal performance back on track within no time. Business continuity management often anticipates disaster and tries to avoid it. However, it may also offer essential insights for recovery in case the disaster is unavoidable or if the avoidance strategies fail.
Government agencies are constantly exposed to threats that may jeopardize their operations. Business continuity management helps government agencies to identify such threats and come up with ways to either avoid them completely or a guideline to recovering from them. It is vital the African economies take up BCM to make the government entities more resilient to threats. This will, in turn, help them perform more efficiently as they carry out their mandate.
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