The Ghana Integrity Initiative’s (GII) local chapter of Transparency International has roped Christian and Moslem leaders into the fight against corruption, mobilising and empowering them to help eradicate the canker.
The project, dubbed: “GII/DANIDA Interfaith Anti-Corruption Campaign,” seeks to build the capacity of faith-based organisations, especially the leaders, to be proactive anti-corruption advocates.
Mrs Mary Awelana Addah, the GII Programmes Manager, at a workshop for reverend ministers, Islamic leaders, and other strategic partners, urged religious enthusiasts to use their powers in the churches and mosques to report, resist and speak up against corruption.
She said the Interfaith Project was being implemented under the DANIDA Tax and Development Project (T&DP), which included a specific focus on GII’s anti-corruption activities in its Strategic Plan (2015-2019).
The project is to enlist the support of religious leaders, faith-based and civil society organisations and the media in raising awareness on corruption and reporting on it as required.
Mrs Addah said the GII had identified the lack of capacity amongst religious bodies and institutions to effectively play the critical role in the fight against corruption and the boldness to speak up against it.
“We are building the capacity of our religious leaders in the tenets of the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) so that they, as men and women of integrity, can speak against corruption based on knowledge with confidence,” she said.
Mrs Addah said the training for the religious leaders, tagged as Anti-Corruption Ambassadors, sought to enhance the roles of faith-based entities in the fight against corruption as prescribed under the NACAP.
“The intention is to ensure they are well equipped to engage their constituents and also to expose the religious leaders to the Transparency Internationals’ Corruption Perceptions Index and the Global Corruption Barometer,” she said.
Mrs Addah explained that NACAP had a vision to create a sustainable democratic society founded on good governance and imbued with high ethics and integrity.
The objectives of NACAP are to build public capacity to condemn and fight corruption and make its practice a high-risk, low-gain activity.
Mr Micheal Okai, the Project Coordinator, DANIDA Interfaith, said through the project, GII sought to increase awareness on existing anti–corruption legal and institutional structures to promote transparency, accountability and reduce corruption in Ghana.
He said corruption was arguably the most talked about problem in the world as a key obstacle to socio-economic and political development of many countries.
“In many parts of the world, the situation has informed the implementation of several measures and government interventions, aimed at achieving a culture of transparency and accountability,” Mr Okai said.
“With increasing reports of corruption in recent years, attempts to address corruption have intensified, with Ghana developing and implementing several anti-corruption initiatives and ratifying international conventions.”