1 January 2008

Ethiopia: Gov't Officials to Register Assets, Interests

Addis Ababa — The Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is preparing on the law that will oblige governmental and public institution officials to register their property in assets including financial interests, a senior official said on Monday According to Consultant Wendatir Deneke, the move was in an effort by the commission to exercise its power fully and discharge duties responsibilities of combating corruption and other impropriety.

The commission was established in 2001 as an independent body capable of investigating and prosecuting, including checking and preventing corruption through the promotion of ethical values in the society.

Wondatir said effective implementation of the new expected to be approve by the House of Parliament will certainly ensure the desired results.

The commission, as one of its duties, strives to prevent corruption by examining practices, investigating and prosecuting offences.

It is also tasked with assisting public offices and public enterprises in conducting investigations carried out on their own initiatives.

Wondatir said requiring public officials were a law practiced by some countries like South Africa in an effort to stamp out corruption.

The consultant was speaking at a training workshop the commission for participants to drawn from diffifernt organizations , 11 new universities.

The training being conducted at the Ghion Hotel in Addis Ababa will last until 3 January 2008.

According to the corruption survey conducted by Addis Ababa University (AAU) in 2001, fraud, cheating, trickery, embezzlement, extortion, nepotism and theft are believed to be the principal features by which corruption has manifested itself in Ethiopia.

Experts cite poor governance, low level of democratic culture and tradition, lack of citizen participation, low level of institutional control, extreme poverty, inequality and harmful cultural practices as major causes of corruption in the country.

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