Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Commonwealth anti-corruption centre hits the ground running

Limited budget, limited capacity, poor public awareness on the types of corruption and limited regional cooperation are said to be weakening delivery of anti corruption services.

This was said by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Leonard Sechele, during the opening of the Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Centre stakeholders meeting.

Sechele pointed out that the Centre had received enquiries and interests of collaboration from international development partners to address these challenges.

He revealed that the centre was subsequently launched in Gaborone on the 25th February 2013, adding that an agreement of the arrangement to operationalise the Association of the Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa was signed by Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe and Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General, Masekgoa Masire- Mwamba, on behalf of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

“The Agreement, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, stipulates that the Centre will support the members by facilitating the exchange of information concerning the practices and procedures used to combat corruption,” said Sechele.

He added that the centre has been there for providing training, mentoring and other forms of practical collaboration between Commonwealth states as well as to interface with regional Anti Corruption Agencies, including in non- African countries of the Commonwealth.

Governance Adviser at Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr Roger Koranteng, said a central part of the Commonwealth’s endeavours is to help member countries face up to corruption and tackle its destructive impact. He said that Commonwealth countries are generally doing comparatively better than their global counterparts.

“Very few Commonwealth countries are rated by major international development institutions as fragile, and the record of Commonwealth countries with regard to corruption is generally good. Only four of the Commonwealth countries appear at the bottom according to Transparency International’s corruption perception index, because amongst Commonwealth members, there is no room for complacency when it comes to corruption,” said Koranteng.

He pointed out that fighting corruption in Commonwealth Africa will also help in fighting poverty and make an important contribution for developing and delivering the MDG’s.

He also revealed that many developing African countries whose public sectors are hampered by corruption, poor management and inadequate public services have made little or no progress towards achievement of the MDG’s.

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