Emphasizing on the adverse effects of corruption on governance, development, and peace and security, the UN Special Adviser on Africa, Bience Gawanas, has underlined the need for Africa to invest in corruption prevention measures.
Gawanas was speaking on Sunday at the Regional Coordination Mechanism for Africa (RCM) meeting held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on the sidelines of the ongoing Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
The official called for appropriate anti-corruption strategies if the continent is to save billions of dollars from corruption, which could otherwise be used for development on the continent.
“Corruption is a clear and present threat to achieving a sustainable path to Africa’s transformation,” she said, adding “graft was not only hindering essential services delivery but also undermining governments by destroying public trust and eroding the rule of law, increasing inequality and hindering national and local economic development.”
Gawanas said corruption threatened the continent’s peace and security, especially with its youthful population looking for equal opportunity, inclusive growth, decent jobs, good education and healthcare systems.
“Today’s youth are not ones who will sit quietly when faced with injustice. When governments and institutions lose this public trust because of corruption, they squander hard-fought gains in sustainable development, social cohesion as well as peace and security,” the special adviser said.
“We need to empower African civil society organizations, the media and ordinary citizens to call out corruption whether it is petty bribery or political corruption,” said Gawanas. “More importantly was the need to empower citizens to peacefully demand action against corruption and end the perception of impunity.”
The African Union (AU) has dedicated 2018 as anti-corruption year with a theme “Winning the fight against corruption: a sustainable path for Africa’s transformation.” Enditem