A three-day workshop in Kigali that ended yesterday has discussed the need to strengthen the role of African Parliaments in fighting against corruption and promoting good public finance management.
The regional workshop at Parliament Buildings and organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Parliamentarian Network against Corruption (APNAC) – Rwanda, sought to underscore the understanding of the role of Parliaments in promoting good financial governance and fighting corruption.
More than 100 participants, including Rwandan lawmakers, APNAC National Chapter representatives from East African Community, heads of EAC anti-corruption authorities, and APNAC executive committee members, attended the workshop.
The Chairperson of APNAC-Rwanda, Sen. Marie Claire Mukasine, said: “APNAC-Rwanda shall make the most of this opportunity which is certain to become a cornerstone of a sharpened partnership between AfDB and APNAC on both a continental and regional level but which will be particularly valuable to APNAC in the fight against corruption.”
Jacob Diko Mukete, from the AfDB’s governance department, told the initial session that addressing corruption continues to be one of the greatest challenges facing the continent.
Mukete, who is the manager for economical and financial reform at the continental bank, said the workshop presented a huge opportunity to participants to share best practices.
“The cost of corruption can be measured in terms of the opportunity cost of the huge quantity of scarce resource leakages from the public coffers. Imagine if those billions, or millions of dollars, were spent on the construction of bridges, schools and roads, and other investments!” Mukete said.
The former AfDB Resident Representative told the session that Rwanda has risen from the ashes because of its tough zero-tolerance policy to corruption which has attracted high investments.
President of the Senate, Dr Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo, urged the participants to learn from Rwanda since it is leading in the fight against corruption, good governance and transparency.
“Rwanda is now in the fourth position on the continent – in the east African region, Rwanda is number one. All this was possible because of the good leadership of our country,” Dr Ntawukuliryayo said.
“One of the secrets that enabled us to arrive at where we are today is the political will by the leaders of the Rwandan nation.”
Specifically, the workshop targeted strengthening the capacity of EAC parliamentarians to perform their financial oversight functions.