In order to name and praise individuals and organisations that have initiated steps to reduce corruption, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has launched the maiden Ghana Integrity Awards.
The awards are in five categories namely: the Policy and Administrative Reforms, Transparency and Social Accountability, Efficient Public Service Delivery, Effective Enforcement and Integrity Personality of the Year.
It is open to public institutions, and the call for the nominations starts from Wednesday, August 14, to October 31. The public could submit names of their nominee via www.ghanaintegrityawards.org or by hand-delivered to the office of GII.
Madam Linda Ofori Kwafo, the Executive Director of GII speaking at the launch, stated that the effect of corruption on Ghana’s development was huge and that the country loses three billion dollars, equivalent to GHC13.5 billion every year through corruption.
The award, an annual scheme, would be used as an incentive to influence positive behaviour, provide an emotional reward to individuals and organizations doing the "right things” with integrity.
It also seeks to highlight positive actions/initiatives of public institutions and individuals against the corruption fight and to erect good role models for the guidance of the rest of society and to serve as a sharp contrast to behaviors considered detrimental to the country's progress.
Madam Kwafo said given the effects of corruption, the successive government had attempted to ameliorate through initiatives including the moral crusades, confiscation of properties, public sector financial management reform and strengthening national anti-corruption institutions.
She stated that integrity in society could have a significant impact on the development and progress of society.
Madam Kwafo said it could significantly contribute to inclusive growth and sustainable development, by assuring fair and efficient resource allocation, stimulating competition and investment, and fostering innovation.
She stated that the perception of low integrity among public and political officials has over the years, contributed largely to a growing cynicism.
“Although the 2018 Transparency International Corruption index showed marginal improvement for the country, corruption scandals frequently inundate our airwaves, an indication that there still remains the uphill task in the anti-corruption crusade,” she said.
Madam Tove Degnbol, the Ambassador of Denmark to Ghana, said some people had the capacity of not only staying clear of corruption but also contributing to the establishment of procedures and practices, which strengthen the robustness of institutions against corruption.
“It takes a lot of courage and determination to go against the flow and have the eyes fixed on what is best for the country and not for oneself and the immediate family,” she said.
The awards would be held in Accra on December 9.