Rwanda: Qatar, Rwanda to Co-Host Anti-Corruption Awards Summit

30 October 2019

The 4th International Anti-Corruption Excellence (ACE) Award summit will take place in Kigali on December 9.

The annual event is being co-hosted by the governments of Rwanda and Qatar and will take place at a time when the country is recognized as one of the five least corrupt countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to Transparency International's latest (2018) Corruption Perception Index.

Marie Immaculée Ingabire, the chairperson of Transparency International Rwanda (TI Rwanda), said she was optimistic a Rwandan entity or individual at the forefront of combating corruption could be recognized for their efforts on that day.

"This is something big and very welcome for us. This is also a recognition of what our country has achieved. Rwanda has done its best and this effort is being recognized when people decide to come and hold this event here," Ingabire pointed out.

"Everything that Rwanda achieved, so far, in combating corruption could also not have been achieved by the government alone as there are partners outside government and these could be recognized," she said.

The ACE Award is an initiative of the Government of Qatar and is presented annually on International Anti-Corruption Day in cooperation with the Vienna-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

It seeks to raise awareness, support, and solidarity to combat corruption and encourage new initiatives in pursuit of corruption-free societies.

Clément Musangabatware, the Deputy Ombudsman in charge of preventing and fighting corruption said it was very important for Rwanda to host the event.

"Rwanda has achieved a lot in terms of governance: homegrown solutions, and combating corruption, among others. When you look at the Corruption Perception Index published annually by Transparency International a lot has been achieved," he noted.

Lately, Rwanda has improved by one point to score 56 out of 100, making it one of the five least corrupt countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the 2018 CPI. In the 2010 CPI, Rwanda was ranked 66th out of 178 countries. Today, in east Africa, Rwanda is the least corrupt country while, globally, it is ranked 48th.

Last year's winners

The award was established to shine a light on the fight against corruption across the world.

There are four categories of the ACE Award in the global fight against corruption.

Last year, eight winners from Liberia, Australia, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, USA and Mexico were recognised at the third annual International Anti-Corruption Excellence Awards in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In the Anti-Corruption Innovation category, PNG Phones against Corruption, from the island state of Papua New Guinea, was recognised for its innovative mobile platform for reporting corruption. The initiative is responsible for the arrest of two Papua New Guinea government bureaucrats for mismanagement of over $2m of official funds.

Sharing the Anti-Corruption Innovation Award was Ghanaian Dr Roger Oppong Koranteng, the Lead Trainer and Governance and Anti-Corruption Adviser for Africa Commonwealth Secretariat. He used his position to bring together the heads of African Anti-Corruption offices to peer-review anti-corruption initiatives, set performance benchmarks and exchange best practices.

Last year, there were two shared winners in the Anti-Corruption Academic Research and Education category. The first, Dr Robtel Neajai Pailey from Liberia, authored children's books Gbagba and Jaadeh, which introduce children to the effects of corruption on everyday life.

The books were adapted into short films, and even songs. The second awardee in this category was Professor Jason Sharman, holder of the Sir Patrick Sheehy professorship in International Relations at the University of Cambridge. His work includes investigations into the corrupt practices used by despots to hide illicit funds, alongside in-depth studies on money laundering and asset recovery.

Fernanda Angelica Flores Aguirre, a Mexican community activist, was the first awardee for the Anti-Corruption Youth Creativity and Engagement category.

The second award in the category of Anti-Corruption Youth Creativity and Education was the organisation Accountability Lab, an organisation based in Washington DC which promotes fairness and accountability in as many countries as it can reach.

The final award was conferred upon two winners in the category of Anti-Corruption Lifetime Achievement. These were Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, a Nigerian Civil Servant, who argues for actions instead of words as the only way to end corruption and Leonard Frank McCarthy, the Integrity Vice President of the World Bank Group since June 2008. Under his leadership, integrity due-diligence became a standard of World Bank investigations, and under his guidance the World Bank Preventative Services Unit was created, to ensure that potential corruption could be stopped before it had even begun.

Organisers say the nomination process was closed on October 15.

As noted, to ensure the maximum possible scope, and because they follow a strict third-party nomination policy, they ask stakeholders around the world to help identify projects, initiatives and individuals who committed time and effort to bring corruption to an end, through various approaches.

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