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Kigali to host Commonwealth anti-corruption event

Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland is optimistic the conference in Kigali, Rwanda will be successful

Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland is optimistic the conference in Kigali, Rwanda will be successful

Rwanda will host this year’s Commonwealth conference of heads of anti-corruption agencies in Africa. The conference, set for May 3 to 7 in the Rwanda capital, Kigali, will bring together 19 African countries formerly colonized by Britain.

In a press statement issued on Friday, April 29, the Commonwealth Secretariat said anti-corruption officials will seek to boost regional crime-fighting efforts during the conference.

“Now in its 12th year, the Conference of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa will be convened under the theme ‘Combating Corruption for Good Governance and Sustainable Development in Africa,” reads part of the press statement.

Apart from members of the Association of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth (Africa), senior government officials, relevant international organisations, civil society, policymakers and development partners will attend the conference.

They are expected to address key priorities towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16, share knowledge and good practices, discuss the impacts of corruption on sustainable development in Africa, and innovative approaches in the fight against corruption.

The conference has been held annually since its inception in 2011 and is part of the Secretariat’s mission to help governments, judges, the police, and other public institutions tackle systemic corruption by sharing best practices, training, and policy research.

OPTIMISTIC

Officials are optimistic the gathering will shape a common ground in fighting corruption, which retards development and democratic governance in many African nations.

Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, noted: “Corruption is a serious threat to sustainable and equitable development. Every dollar lost to corruption is a dollar lost to investing in a child’s education, healthcare or much-needed infrastructure. That is why the Commonwealth Secretariat has made preventing and countering corruption a top priority.

“But to do this, collaboration and cooperation between our member states will be critical if we are to successfully meet the challenge of corruption. By coming together, we can build the prosperous future we want for the generations to come. And the Commonwealth Secretariat stands ready to support member states in this endeavour as part of its mandate to strengthen democratic societies and good governance, and advance a free, just, and peaceful Commonwealth.”

Dr. Roger Koranteng, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Adviser and Head of Public Sector Governance, concurred: “The conference will provide a timely assessment of the progress member countries have made towards achieving SDG Goal 16 and a platform for the sharing of country, regional and international experiences by Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies, International Organisations, and experts.

“Anti-corruption agencies will have the opportunity to engage with their counterparts and international experts on issues of mutual influence, opening space for capacity building and collaboration in the fight against corruption. We look forward to welcoming you in Kigali, for a successful conference.”

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