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The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) calls on the government to seize the current pro-anticorruption political moment to take decisive and concrete action on the growing list of corruption cases in the country. On the occasion of this year’s International Anti-Corruption Day, which is being commemorated under the theme, “United Against Corruption for Development, Peace and Security,” CDD-Ghana urges the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to take advantage of the collective public support in the fight against corruption to tackle pervasive corruption in Ghana.
This year’s international anti-corruption day advocates for resilient collaborative efforts by all sectors in the economy to eliminate corruption. Accordingly, the Center calls on the government, all state anti-corruption bodies, the private sector, media, civil society organizations (CSOs) and citizens to unite in the fight against corruption and create a zero tolerance approach to corruption.
The Center believes government’s commitment to fighting corruption goes beyond the rhetoric, the mere setting up of institutions and enactment of laws. While we recognize weaknesses in some existing anti-corruption legislations, the Center is of the view that sufficiently resourcing existing public anti-corruption institutions, such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO), Auditor General Office, State Prosecution Department, and the recently enacted Special Prosecutor’s Office; strengthening their independence; and having leadership with integrity for these institutions can lead to significant progress in the fight against corruption in Ghana.
We equally believe that government’s ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ agenda and the mission of achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development can only be met if resources are not plundered for private gains and that public institutions are transparent and accountable. As noted by António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, “We can only achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development if every nation has strong, transparent and inclusive institutions, based on the rule of law and supported by the public.”
It is important to note that Ghanaians are no longer passively watching corrupt acts manifest before their eyes. The latest Afrobarometer Survey (2017) revealed that a vast majority (64%) of Ghanaians want corrupt officials prosecuted, stolen monies recovered and offenders named and shamed. This is a clear indication that citizens are united in their views for corrupt officials to be punished and looted resources retrieved. CDD-Ghana therefore, calls on the government and all anti-graft state institutions to be cognizant of the willingness of Ghanaian citizens to fight corruption, and put mechanisms in place to empower citizens to voice out “NO” to corrupt acts.
On its part, CDD-Ghana and its CSO partners, as well as the media will continue to be at the fore front of the campaign against corruption in the country. CDD-Ghana and its partners will again continue to unearth and magnify cases of corruption, educate the public, advocate stiffer punishments for officials who engage in corruption and present policy guides to aid stakeholders demand for accountability in the fight against corruption. We believe that we can unite in our collective quest to address the growing menace of corruption in our society so as to channel national resources to propel development.