Pragmatic measures needed to address corruption - CDD
The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has said for African countries to effectively eradicate corruption and promote development, the continent needs to put in place some pragmatic and concrete measures.
It said this should be done in conformity with the legal framework and the regulations of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Crime (2003), the enhancement of the freedom and independence of the press which are critical stakeholders in exposing corruption.
It said citizens needed to be well informed about the incidence of corrupt practices and be involved in fighting the canker.
These were contained in a press statement copied to the Ghana News Agency and signed by Madam Efua Idan Atadja, CDD-Ghana Communications Officer, as part of this year’s African Union (AU) Day which was held under the theme: “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.”
The statement said African countries lose huge sums of monies annually to corruption and such losses retarded development and good governance.
“After 55 years, the dream for a developed and prosperous continent is being hampered by corruption and according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Africa loses $148 billion annually to corruption,” it said.
“Again, the Thabo Mbeki report on Illicit Financial Flow estimates that the continent loses more than $50 billion annually through these activities. As a result, African nations, including Ghana, continue to rely heavily on foreign aid to develop; while majority of the continent’s population are living in poverty.”
The statement said research has revealed that society frowns at corrupt activities and was unconvinced about the commitment to ending it adding that, “the Round 6 Afro barometer Survey (2014/2015) conducted across 36 surveyed African countries indicates that majority (55 per cent) of Africans in the 23 of 36 surveyed countries say corruption increased “somewhat” or “a lot” over the previous year, while only about one among three Africans (31 per cent ) say their governments are handling corruption “fairly well” or “very well.”
It said “the recent Round 7 Afro barometer Survey (2017) found that most Ghanaians support the fight against corruption, with majority (64 per cent) calling for the prosecution of corrupt officials”.
The statement urged African leaders to protect the freedom and independence of the press where African countries were ranked among the lowest in the 2018 World Press Day held in Accra.
It called on African governments to strengthen institutions and mechanisms, device policies and create enabling environment for citizen participation in the quest to ending corruption particularly among public officials.
The statement said “the AU and Ghana long-term agenda for the socio-economic transformation cannot be achieved if the billions of dollars lost each year through corruption are not curtailed.”
It said “it is imperative for our leaders to focus on building a sustainable path to end corrupt practices to promote good governance, accountability and higher levels of transparency at all levels in our governance and social structures.”