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General News Sat, 30 May 2020

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Digitise all government essential services to reduce corruption

Participants at a stakeholders’ consultation on anti-corruption by political parties are demanding that the parties commit to ensuring the digitisation of all government essential services as a step towards reducing corruption when voted into power.

They are also demanding a policy that would ensure that all agencies mandated to fight corruption have dedicated funding that does not need the approval of the Executive.

These demands were flagged during a virtual consultative meeting organised for faith-based organisations, traditional authorities, private sector, the media, and civil society organisations.

It was funded by the Star Ghana Foundation’s “Making All Voices Count in the 2020 Anti-Corruption Agenda of Political Parties’ Manifestoes Initiative”.

The initiative, which is being jointly implemented by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), in partnership with the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), is seeking to increase citizens’ voices in the anti-corruption agenda as stipulated in the manifestoes of political parties for 2020 and beyond.

Participants suggested that the next government must make it a priority to fully operationalise the Right to Information Law to enable the citizens to be informed and demand accountability.

Mr Bright Sowu, the Head of Programmes and Deputy Executive Secretary of GACC, said the concerns would be collated to develop a Citizens’ Anti-Corruption Manifesto.

He said it would feed into advocacy efforts aimed at engaging political parties for the inclusion of anti-corruption priorities in their manifestoes for the upcoming 2020 Elections.

Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, the GII Executive Director, said corruption affected development, caused and exacerbated conflict, and was one of the biggest challenges that hindered the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Proponents of the Sustainable Development Goals rightly identified the problem of corruption militating against the realisation of any set of development goals, hence the collective decision to integrate anti-corruption specific targets into the SDGs under Goal-16.

She said issues about corruption were of great concern to the public with a section holding the view that the Government was not doing enough to rid the country of corrupt practices.

She said the sentiments were reflected in the various survey findings including the recent Global Corruption Barometer and Afrobarometer surveys.

Source: GNA

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