Anti-Graft Experts from different African countries have convened for a two-day meeting in Kigali aimed at assessing the efficiency and impact of Anti-Corruption institutions on the continent.
The Ad-Hoc experts meeting organised by the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa (UNECA-ECA Regional Office) in conjunction with the UNDP that opened yesterday at Hotel des Mille Collines is intended to study comprehensively the causes and effects of corruption in the African context.
Participants will also provide a comparative experience of Anti-corruption efforts in selected African Countries; underscore the strength and weaknesses as well as the challenges faced by National anti-corruption institutions, and how their capacity can be enhanced for effective performance in tackling the problem of corruption in Africa.
A study conducted by UNECA indicates that Africa by far still remains the most corrupt region in the World. Additional studies done by the World Bank, UNDP and Transparency International also pin Africa for having failed to deal with the ‘evil’ that corruption is, especially on the side of the government arm of states.
A UNDP Report also reveals that some anti-corruption commissions and bodies on the African continent have ‘disappointed’ both the people and development partners especially in developing countries, the reason corruption remains among the topmost national problems, alongside poverty and unemployment in most African states.
Speaking yesterday, Prof. Okey Onyejekewe, the Director of UNECA’s Governance and Public Administration Division which organised the meeting said that the body has adopted a holistic approach that will help Africa counter corruption.
The approach based on the pillars of knowledge and information sharing, technical capacity development and providing advisory services will target major stakeholders in the anti corruption war including national anti-corruption institutions, the Parliament, judiciary and Civil Society Organisations among others.
He commended the government of Rwanda and the Office of the Ombudsman in particular for the support rendered towards organising, despite the meeting coinciding with the National Retreat, missing the presence of top government officials.
The Minister of Local Government Protais Musoni in a speech read on his behalf by Joseph Rurangwa, affirmed Rwanda’s commitment towards maintaining a Zero-tolerance stance on corruption and vowed the country’s determination to continue setting the pace as one of the leading African Countries where corruption is minimal.
The meeting has attracted heads of anti-corruption institutions from 20 African countries, Leading anti-corruption activists, and representatives of Regional and international institutions including the AU Commission, African Development Bank, NEPAD Secretariat, World Bank as well as representatives from leading CSO from across the Continent.
The outcome and recommendations of the high-level meeting are expected to be forwarded to all national anti-corruption institutions, CSO’s and Regional Economic Communities in a bid to improve their technical capacities to deal with corruption effectively and efficiently on all fronts.