It is often said that corruption begins at home, so insignificant at this point, yet still it has a huge impact on the country’s economy, now eating at the manufacturers’ profits.
This vice, has had Kenyan manufacturers up in arms about the menace, trying to figure out a way to eradicate thi monster threatening to cripple their businesses.
This is why the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has partnered with the University of Nairobi (UoN) to develop strategies that promote ethical and legal business practices within the private sector. This partnership is expected to highlight the impact of corruption on the social and economic growth of the manufacturing sector.
In February this year, Kenya was ranked position 143 out of 180 in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index highlights for 2017.
KAM therefore held a forum with the UoN key partners in a bid to develop these strategies. Speaking at the forum, the High Court Judge and Presiding Judge – Anti-Corruption & Economic Crimes Division, Justice Hedwig Ongudi emphasized the need to identify corruption, as a major constraint to the development of the country.
“As a nation, we have sufficient legislation in place to fight this vice. The Kenyan Government has even enacted legislation to attract both local and foreign investors. However, the full implementation of this is yet to be achieved.
As the pioneer Judge in the Anti-Corruption & Economic Crimes Division, the enforcement of laws in regard to corruption remain a key focus. Cases brought to the court must be thoroughly investigated in order to get favourable results,” said Lady Justice Ongudi.
One of the key ingredients that the top performing African countries have in common, according to the Transparency Index, is political leadership that is consistently committed to anti-corruption.
While the majority of countries already have anti-corruption laws and institutions in place, these leading countries go an extra step to ensure implementation.
In Rwanda for instance, from President Paul Kagame’s strict enforcement of compliance with the leadership code in Rwanda, to President Jorge Fonseca’s open promotion of institutional transparency in Cabo Verde or President Ian Khama’s innovative approach of “mainstreaming anti-corruption” across ministries in Botswana, these countries learned what works best in their communities and pursued these tactics with commitment. These countries score 55, 55 and 61 respectively on the CPI.
According to the UON’s Deputy Vice Chancellor – Academic Affairs, Prof. Julius Ogeng’o, corruption has been identified as one of the biggest impediment to development in Kenya and a serious obstacle to the realization of the Big Four development plan.
“The University of Nairobi continues to support the government’s Big Four agenda for economic development. As a public institution, we seek to promote dialogue on the issue of enforcement and compliance on anti-corruption requirements in the private sector, with a view of developing joint strategies to address the vice, enhance compliance and foster economic growth,” added Prof. Ogeng’o.
KAM acting CEO Tobias Alando has also added his voice to the debate on the role of academia in combating corruption, noting that it plays a key role in nurturing perceptions that mitigate allegiance to ethics in business practice.
“Academia plays a critical role in the fight against corruption. Through extensive awareness and research, academia remains the core knowledge provider of the framework of corruption and the anti-corruption mechanisms that should be adopted to protect the economy.
All our good intentions on economic and social development amount to nothing if every single step we take in the right direction is dealt a huge resounding blow by corruption. It is time to rebuild our country and to bring about equality, it is time to take quick, decisive and discernible actions against corruption,” said Mr Alando.
Strategies discussed at the forum include adopting legal compliance requirements on anti-corruption, undertaking anti-corruption audits on governance and revenue, and stakeholder engagement on comparative perspectives of anti-corruption enforcement.
Globally, the TI report, states that the best performing region is Western Europe with an average score of 66. The worst performing regions are Sub-Saharan Africa (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 34).