President Mahama:"Prioritise Anti-Corruption Campaigns"

President John Dramani Mahama on Monday called on African countries to prioritise anti-corruption campaigns by initiating useful measures that would stem the practice on the continent.

He said: “Corruption knows no borders and it is therefore imperative for the adoption of internal and international measures to fight the practice. This we can also do by strengthening various institutions to deal with it.”

President Mahama said this when he addressed the African Association Authorities Conference (AAACA) in Accra.

The conference, which is the second after the one Bujumbura, Burundi in 2011 attracted participants from all the 53 member countries and beyond.

The two-day international conference would also afford the participants the opportunity to share experiences and the measures countries had embarked on to fight corruption.

President Mahama explained that the strengthening of institutions could empower anti-corruption organizations to take up effective responsibilities to change the trend in the coming years.

He said Ghana had already embarked on the strengthening of institutions by providing legal framework to the passage of the Public Procurement Act, Anti-Money laundering Act, Whistle Blowers Act, while Cabinet had also approved the Code of Conduct bill for public officials.

The President said government would soon hold a National Constitutional Conference which would among other things empower anti-corruption institutions, empower Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice to enforce some of their laws on corrupt persons.

He said the conference would also aptly regulate a regime of gifts to public officials and provide a good foundation for a legal framework.

President Mahama said apart from coming out with the legal framework, the government had also developed a national anti-corruption action plan that had enabled the country to sign all the international protocols and conventions that would empower government to mete out appropriate punishments to corrupt persons.

The President said the institution of the Sole Commissioner to adjudicate judgement debts was another means government had adopted to fight corruption and appealed to those who have inputs to avail themselves for the smooth fight against the practice.

President Mahama promised that his administration would closely work with other countries and anti-corruption bodies to reduce or completely eliminate the canker in the coming years.

Dr Jean Baptiste Elias, President of the Interim Steering Committee of the AAACA, said corruption was taking a toll on the entire world, particularly in the last decade, where the practice assumed an alarming status.

To deal with it therefore, he appealed to all member states to sign on to the conventions and protocols that would empower them to effectively fight it.

He said although 53 member states had signed on various conventions, 20 were yet to ratify those protocols and conventions and appealed to them to institute national anti-corruption structures that would help them to compare notes with other member countries at the various regional conferences.

Dr Elias commended the government and people of Ghana for their special interest in anti- corruption programmes in the country and beyond.

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President Mahama:"Prioritise Anti-Corruption Campaigns"

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