Put Anti-corruption Commitments into Practice – Transparency International Urges African Govts

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Put Anti-corruption Commitments into Practice - Transparency International Urges African Govts.

Debo Omilani

Debo Omilani has been practicing journalism for about seven years. He is a committedand dedicated journalist with a passion for reporting newsworthy events without bias.

Transparency International has urged government of Africa counties to put anti-corruption commitments into practice through investigation , prosecution and sanction of all reported cases of corruption in both the public and the private sectors with no exception.

This contained in a report released by Transparency International Secretariat. Saying one in four people in Africa pay bribes to access services and the act disproportionately affects the poor and young.

The report titled ‘The tenth edition of Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa, released on African Anti-Corruption Day by Transparency International in partnership with Afrobarometer, revealed that more than half of all citizens surveyed in 35 African countries think corruption is getting worse in their country.

According to the reports, Fifty-nine per cent of people think their government is doing badly at tackling corruption.

“The largest and most detailed survey of citizens’ views on bribery and other forms of corruption in Africa, the survey asked 47,000 citizens in 35 countries about their perceptions of corruption and direct experiences of bribery.

“The results show that more than 1 in 4 people who accessed public services, such as health care and education, paid a bribe in the previous year. This is equivalent to approximately 130 million people.

The report also highlights that corruption disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, with the poorest paying bribes twice as often as the richest. Young people pay more bribes than those over 55 years old, the reports said.

Patricia Moreira, Managing Director of Transparency International explained that Corruption is hindering Africa’s economic, political and social development. “It is a major barrier to economic growth, good governance and basic freedoms, like freedom of speech or citizens’ right to hold governments to account.

“While governments have a long way to go in regaining citizens’ trust and reducing corruption, these things don’t exist in a vacuum. Foreign bribery and money laundering divert critical resources away from public services, and ordinary citizens suffer most.”

Paul Banoba, Regional Advisor for East Africa at Transparency International added that “To reduce the heavy burden of corruption on ordinary people, African states that have not done so should ratify and effectively implement the African Union Convention to Prevent and Combat Corruption. Africans believe they can make a difference. Governments must allow them the space to do so.”

In their recommendations, Transparency International urged governments to put anti-corruption commitments into practice and to investigate, prosecute and sanction all reported cases of corruption in both the public and the private sector, with no exception.

“The government should develop minimum standards and guidelines for ethical procurement and build strong procurement practice throughout the continent with training, monitoring and research. Adopt open contracting practices, which make data and documentation clearer and easier to analyse and ensure transparency in hiring procedures.

The report added that they should create mechanisms to collect citizens’ complaints and strengthen whistleblower protection to ensure that citizens can report instances of corruption without fear of reprisal.

“Enable media and civil society to hold governments accountable;
support political party funding transparency. Allow cross border cooperation to combat corruption.
Authorities should also establish public registers that name the owners of shell companies and adopt and enforce laws that address stolen assets.

“Additionally, business leaders and boards of companies, including multinational companies operating in Africa, should effectively and transparently implement the highest international anti-corruption and anti-money laundering standards, Transparency International recommended.

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