The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Tuesday embarked on a four-day training for Anti-corruption institutions in its Member States to further enhance the capacity of the institutions to expedite the implementation of the various regional, continental and international normative instruments on democracy and governance in order to pave way towards prevalence of peace and security in the IGAD region.
Under the Peace and Security Division (PSD), IGAD deals with issues of Democracy, Governance, Election and Human Rights (DGEHR) through the Political Affairs Program (PAP) which engages in various activities to achieve its many objectives one of which being; strengthening the capacity of member states democratic institutions.
A capacity needs assessment carried out in 2017, IGAD was asked to prioritize and focus on capacity building of IGAD Member State institutions that have a mandate on governance while maintaining a balance between the national and regional existing interventions.
During the opening remarks, Mrs. Legawork Assefa, Acting Director of Peace and Security Division at IGAD and representing the Executive Secretary of IGAD stressed the importance of strengthening capacity through training of anti-corruption institutions for them to implement and carry out the responsibilities entrusted unto them by the IGAD citizens.
“We need strong anti-corruption institutions to act as watch dogs to contribute to the current efforts by IGAD and the African Union by implementing the regional and continental efforts for Africa not to lag behind in development and to be more transparent, effective and reliable” Mrs Assefa added.
The Head of AGA Secretariat and Senior Human Rights Expert at the African Union Commission (AUC) Amb Salah S. Hammad reiterated the need to fight corruption collectively or else Africa will not improve or develop for it affects economies and the social fabric.
“The African Union supports and commends efforts by IGAD and other Regional Economic Communities to fight corruption at regional level complimented with AU instruments for successful implementation” he stated.
The Royal Danish Embassy is funding a series of training towards promotion of good governance and the fight against corruption in the IGAD region. Denmark was a host to the 2018 International Anti-Corruption Conference and is zero tolerance to corruption. The Counselor, Regional Affairs Dr. Jonas Helth LonBorg pledged continued support to IGAD and the AU towards their Member States achieving the 2018 AU theme of ‘Winning the Fight Against Corruption’ in order attain Sustainable Development Goals in Africa.
Dr. LonBorg called upon the IGAD Member States to strengthen their institutions combined with political will by the leaders and work towards changing the social norms and attitudes to fighting corruption.
The participants drawn from anti-corruption bodies and equivalent institutions in the IGAD member states will during the 4 day meeting focus on; background to corruption; familiarization of regional, continental and global conventions on anti-corruption; designing campaign strategies for anti-corruption interventions; factors that contribute to the success and failure of anti-corruption initiatives; managing corruption risks; recording and verification of declarations of assets to anti-corruption authorities(lessons learned and best practices); and reporting on anti-corruption in the Framework of African Governance Architecture (AGA).
At the conclusion of the training the participants recommit to the Declaration of the year 2018 as ‘African – Anti-Corruption year’ that was first declared at the African Union (AU) headquarters during its 30th Assembly of Heads of State and Government in January 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where AU organs, Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), civil society organisations together with citizens (women, men and young people alike) embarked on a journey to address the urgent need to curb corruption which is a major societal flaw causing setbacks in the socio-economic and political development of the continent.