The event to be hosted in Rwanda for the first time will see 18 Commonwealth Africa Nations from the Association of Anti-Corruption Agencies convening in Kigali to share expertize and innovations in combatting corruption.
The association was established in 2011 to foster collaboration of the Nations. The general objective of this year’s conference is to bring together member countries to concretize the strategies in the fight against corruption under the theme “Combating Corruption for Good Governance and Sustainable Development in Africa”.
It is being organized by the Office of The Ombudsman of Rwanda in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat. During the conference, every Head of the Anti-Corruption Agency will make a presentation on Innovative Projects done in the fight against Corruption.
There will be two set of presentations including Practitioners and Experts presentations. The practitioners’ presentations will be delivered by the Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies, to fulfil the aim of the Association of Anti-corruption Agencies of sharing experiences and learning from each other.
On another other hand, the Experts presentations will be delivered by experts from international organisations and other institutions. These presentations will enrich the conference discussions with current work and thinking in regional or global anti-corruption effort.
As we are few days to go for the conference to kick off in Kigali, Rwanda’s Chief Ombudsman, Madeleine Nirere has welcomed guests; shed light on expected outcomes, experiences to be shared and the advantages to pull from it.
“I am very pleased to welcome participants to Rwanda and I hope the conference will be successful and more relevant to the good and shared cause of preventing and fighting corruption. It is a great opportunity for Rwanda to showcase the best of our culture, promote Made in Rwanda and our home grown innovations. We also encourage Rwandan people to remain welcoming to make guests’ stay a memorable one,” she said.
More participants from international organizations in anti-corruption sectors will also attend the event.
Nirere has disclosed that ‘the conference is expected to come up with important resolutions useful in the fight against corruption, particularly, strengthening good governance to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 16’.
The latter is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015 ’to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels’.
According to the Chief Ombudsman, participants of the conference will learn from each other to be able to initiate or update strategies in the fight against corruption in their respective countries.
Among others, Nirere said, the capacity of anti-corruption agencies will also be strengthened through international collaboration.
Rwanda’s best practices
The Chief Ombudsman has explained that Rwanda has achieved a lot along the journey to eliminate corruption noting that making the crime imprescriptible is one of best ways to discourage people promising, offering or soliciting bribes.
Other measures put in place include the establishment of anti-corruption committees among public and institutions, private sector, and civil society organizations as well as assets recovery.
For instance, Rwf1, 659,097,164 was recovered in the fiscal year 2020/2021. The Chief Ombudsman revealed that the country had cumulatively recovered Rwf6, 062,387,129; Euro 3,729 ; US$14,743 and a property worth Rwf100,994,000 from 2014 to August 2021 where assets recovery process abided by legal provisions.
More efforts were put in the sensitization of the adverse effects of corruption to different segments of the population through different communication channels.
Under the Vision 2050, Rwanda seeks to become the leading country globally in the fight against corruption. Else, the country’ has set an ambitious target under the Seven Years National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) 2017-2024 to fight corruption by 92.5% in 2024 from 86.56% of 2016 through collaboration with different stakeholders and church leaders to denounce the vice among others.
“This 12th conference will be an opportunity to learn from others and share Rwanda’s experience in combatting corruption. Rwanda has registered good records in combatting corruption at international and regional level which was possible because of the visionary leadership. We will also share how good leadership plays a big role in fighting corruption and the collaboration of stakeholders in this journey,” Nirere noted.
The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020 by Transparency International indicated that Rwanda ranked the 4th least corrupt country in Africa with 54 percent points, following Seychelles, Botswana and Cape Verde.
The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International also indicated that Rwanda is the 52nd least corrupt nation out of 180 countries globally.
The Chief Ombudsman, Nirere has explained that selecting Rwanda as a host of the upcoming conference reflects the country’s reputation in fighting corruption to promote good governance.
As she said, Rwanda will also learn from other countries’ experiences in the fight against corruption, hence adding up to its bold ambitions to advance the cause.
“This will reinforce Rwanda’s commendable program to always create avenues aimed at fostering Zero Tolerance to Corruption policy,” noted Nirere.
The annual Regional Conference of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in The Commonwealth Africa in 2019 was held in Kampala, Uganda where Members agreed that the next Regional Conference of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa in 2020 would be hosted by Rwanda in partnership with The Commonwealth Secretariat.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Conferences of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa for 2020 and 2021 took place virtually.
This year’s conference comes to Rwanda following fruitful efforts to fight the pandemic globally.
The weekly epidemiological update on COVID-19 released by the World Health Organization (WHO) as of 20th April 2022, shows that the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths has continued to decline globally since the end of March 2022.
During the week of 11 through 17 April 2022, over 5 million cases and over 18 000 deaths were reported across the six WHO regions, a 24% and 12% decrease respectively, as compared to the previous week.
As of 17 April 2022, over 500 million confirmed cases and over 6 million deaths have been reported globally since March 2020.
The Association of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in The Commonwealth Africa is composed of Anti-Corruption Agencies from 18 African countries namely; Botswana, Cameroon, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
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