AU Anti-Corruption Day calls for corruption fight commitment reflection-GACC

By Laudia Sawer

Tema, July 10, GNA – The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) has called for sober reflections on the collective commitment of stakeholders to fight corruption as part of the African Union (AU) Anti-Corruption Day celebration.

The AU Anti-Corruption Day celebration is celebrated annually on July 11, with this year’s theme being “Effective Whistle-blowers Protection Mechanism: A Critical Tool in the Fight Against Corruption.”

The day, adopted by the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) in Maputo, Mozambique, on July 11, 2003, is used as a platform for Africans to reflect on anti-corruption progress in their communities and the way forward.

Madam Beauty Emefa Narteh, the Executive Secretary of the GACC, told the Ghana News Agency that corruption continued to impede the developmental progress and impact of many African countries, including Ghana.

Madam Narteh said corruption’s impact was widely visible through inadequate healthcare facilities, deteriorating roads, the lack or absence of public housing in many African states, poor governance, and weakened institutions, undermining their legitimacy by negatively impacting citizens’ perceptions of fairness.

“Financially, corruption costs Africa about $300 billion annually. In Ghana, the impact of corruption is seen in Ghana’s declining performances on international corruption indices (Ghana score 43/100, ranked 70th out of 180 countries), the alarming increase in petty corruption (17.4 million bribes paid in a year), and deepening levels of grand corruption among public officials and institutions (Ghana lost Fifteen Billion Ghana Cedis (GH¢15,059,441,806) in 2022, as shown in the Auditor-General’s report on Public Boards, Corporations, and other Statutory Institutions),” she stressed.

She urged all stakeholders to unite in their efforts to foster a more transparent and accountable society by collectively reaffirming and renewing their pledge and commitment to the principles of transparency, accountability, and integrity to build a corruption-free society, where public trust is upheld, and democratic principles remain steadfast.

She indicated that, recognising the crucial role of the youth in addressing graft, the GACC committed to targeted anti-corruption youth empowerment activities nationwide for them to serve as advocates and champions of the fight against corruption

The GACC Executive Secretary said last year, as part of the 2023 AU Anti-Corruption Day commemoration activities, about 16,000 Ghanaian youth were engaged in the ills of corruption and the roles they could play in shaping their desired future.

She stated that, building on last year’s successes, the GACC aimed to commemorate the 2024 African Union Anti-Corruption Day in 33 districts across 14 regions, adding that with funding support from the Hewlett Foundation, they sought to align this year’s AU Anti-Corruption Day commemoration with the election 2024 voter education and awareness activities.

“We aim to empower first-time voters and minors in basic and second-cycle institutions on electoral corruption offences, whistleblowing, and the importance of upholding Ghana’s electoral integrity,” she noted.

She appealed to Ghanaians, especially the youth, to guard against abuse of power and hold individuals and institutions to account, emphasising that Ghanaians need to boldly commit to upholding electoral integrity and safeguarding their democracy.

She stressed that “we must demonstrate patriotism by rejecting all forms of corrupt practices and opposing electoral violence. Let us act and report all acts of electoral corruption to the appropriate authorities.”