Ghana: Enforce Anti-Corruption Laws - 5 Envoys Urge Ghana

13 December 2019

Five envoys have urged Ghana to rigorously enforce its anti-corruption laws saying it is the most effective remedy to curtail the costly consequence of the canker and give true meaning to the fight against it.

They charged all independent state and prosecuting agencies to be courageous and apply the laws irrespective of the calibre of people involved to serve as deterrent to all and increase compliance.

At a forum held in Accra yesterday to mark this year's international anti-corruption day, they urged the government to show political will by equipping the anti-graft agencies and creating the atmosphere for them to work without fear.

The envoys were Stephanie Sullivan, United States (US) Ambassador; Ron Strikker, Netherlands Ambassador; Iain Walker, British High Commissioner; Ambassador Diana Acconcia, Head of European Union Delegation to Ghana and Sabine Nolke, acting Canadian High Commissioner.

The forum was organised by the Ghana Integrity Consortium with support from the US government under the theme "The cost of corruption in Ghana-deliberation for remedy."

Aside the diplomatic community, it brought together representatives from the two major political parties, civil society and youth leaders to discuss the way forward in the corruption fight.

Setting the ball rolling, Ms Sullivan said corruption was not exclusive to Ghana but a global problem that sucked five percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) annually.

However, she said strong enforcement was the only way to tackle it adding that "Corruption is not a victimless crime. It steals directly from the pockets of citizens. Progress has to be made on several fronts simultaneously to end impunity".

For Mr Strikker, corruption discouraged foreign direct investment and should be fought with all vigour.

He called for support for Auditor General, Daniel Domelevo and protection for investigative journalists to fight on.

When Mr Walker took his turn , he said the envoys were not judging Ghana but were of the view that once the country had put in place measures to fight corruption some action should be seen

He likened corruption to cancer, saying if immediate action was not taken, it would spread further adding that "It won't be cured by just talking about it. Action is rather needed."

In the view of Ms Acconcia, corruption was an obstacle not only to economic growth but to the achievement of the sustainable development goals and the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

She cited assert declaration as one way corruption at higher levels could be pelted down. The fight, she also suggested, should be sustained especially in the 2020 election year.

Taking her turn, Ms Nolke said "we should leave little or no room for corruption to thrive."

The Director of Communication of the ruling New Patriotic Party, Yaw Buaben Asamoah said the government had set up the Office of the Special prosecutor with the needed support to fight corruption and it should be bold to do so.

Alex Segbefia, International Relations Director of the National Democratic Congress pledged the party's commitment to deal with the canker whether in government or not and called for all to play their roles.

For her part, the Executive Director of GII, Linda Ofori Kwafo said "The next step is enforcement. We are still grappling with corruption because leadership has failed to genuinely commit anti-corruption laws and policies

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