The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), has launched a new strategic plan spanning from 2020 to 2024, with the aim to enforce all anti-corruption laws in the country to educate the populace on the various forms of corruption and its implications on society.
Speaking at the launch, on Wednesday 25th September, 2019, at the Economic and Organized Crime Office conference room in Accra, the Senior Minister Hon. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, noted that, corruption has been frowned upon all over the world simply because it poses a great deal of danger to human rights, justice delivery and sustainable economic development.
He explained that, “More importantly, it undermines policy formulation, service delivery and public trust in the political system and the government as a whole. Above all it adds a heavy expenditure (cost) to the country’s budget.”
The Senior Minister, disclosed that, the
International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) Council stated that “Fighting corruption is not an end in itself. But a fight for Social Justice, Peace and Security”.
Hes said, “This simply means whatever we do in the fight against corruption is certainly geared towards fighting for social justice, peace and security of our nation and that ought to be at the core of our engagement on daily basis.”
According to him, Government has been doing everything within its power to prevent, fight and prosecute corruption related cases using the legal processes available in the country, since it finds the acts of corruption as a major challenge in the development process of the country.
Following this, the Senior Minister said, ” Government will continue to engage Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) in all areas geared towards fighting corruption. It is my firm belief that the five-year Strategic Plan of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) which seek to provide a synergized framework for effective co-ordination of anti-corruption activities of members and other relevant partners including the citizens, would lead to the bigger picture of a corruption-free Ghana so we all focus more on the development of our country.”
The Minister intimated that, on the national level, government is of the strongest conviction that the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP) offers Ghanaians a unique opportunity to address corruption issues. Saying, “NACAP therefore, serve as the blue print to address this canker. Fighting corruption in this regard will require building and sustaining partnerships among all stakeholders i.e. government (Executive, Judiciary and Parliament), private sector and civil society organizations.”
Mr. Osafo-Marfo, further added that, “Generally, I trust that the fallout from Ghana’s second review of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) will equally contribute greatly to advancing the anti-graft discussions in Ghana and the global stage. Central to all these initiatives is the need to open up the civic space to actively engage citizens so as to ensure they are well positioned to hold government accountable and demand transparency from public officials all the time.”
On his part, the Board Chairman of GACC, Nana Osei-Bonsu, noted that, Ghana has the best of laws one can talk of, but lacks enforcement amidst inadequate investigations and prosecution of corrupt officials. Explaining that, the country has not built the capacities of the various investigative institutions to the stage that can unearth the occurrence of the numerous malfeasances and irregularities.
Nana Osei-Bonsu said, Ghana’s score on the Corruption Perception Index has dropped from a score of 48 in 2014 to 41 in 2018, because issues of corruption continues to be something common in the country and perpetrators are left to go scot-free.
According to him, the GACC has continued to engage stakeholders and government institutions like the Ghana Audit Service and the Office of the Special Prosecutor, to combat and prosecute corrupt officials in the country.
He therefore, underscored the need for government to also engage civil society and the citizenry to put in place pragmatic measures towards the fight against corruption and however apply the laws impartially to curb the menace.
The Chief Executive Officer of Star Ghana Foundation, Mr. Amidu-Ibrahim-Tanko, also disclosed their commitment to collaborate with GACC to promote anti-corruption efforts and integrity through sustained and effective coordination with state and non-state operators.
The Australian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Andrew Barnes, commended the Coalition to continue with the fight against corruption, as the elimination of corruption from the system contributes greatly to the achievement of the country’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda.