The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on Wednesday pledged to assist Kenya’s private sector to tackle the corruption menace.
Charity Kagwi, regional anti-corruption program manager at UNODC regional office for Eastern Africa, told journalists in Nairobi that the private sector’s corruption affects the entire supply chain, as it distorts markets, undermines competition and increases costs to firms.
“It prevents a fair and efficient private sector, reduces the quality of products and services and leads to missed business opportunities,” the official said during the launch of the Blue Company project that seeks to encourage a commitment by the private sector to be at the forefront in the fight against corruption.
Kagwi noted that the blue company project is both timely and necessary because it creates a blueprint for integrity-driven companies.
The UN anti-drug agency said that it will provide technical expertise to Kenya’s private sector to come up with appropriate anti-corruption guidelines and interventions using international best practices.
Kagwi noted that currently a vast majority of corruption and other economic crimes go unpunished due to inadequate and ineffective internal policies within companies.
“It is imperative to appreciate that businesses are the nerve center for both problems and solutions in the fight against corruption and the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she added.
According to the UN official, providing support to the private sector in developing robust internal checks and balances to safeguard businesses against corrupt activities is an integral part of the fight against the vice.
Kagwi observed that with less than ten years remaining to achieve the SDGs, Africa is still at a crossroads on effectively combating corruption.