The 3-day conference was attended by Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in the Commonwealth of Africa. (State House)
The 13th Regional Conference of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in the Commonwealth of Africa held in Seychelles enabled its participants to discuss problems specific to each country, allowing the identification of common points of concern.
At the conference, which ended on Friday, May de Silva, the commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission of Seychelles, was confirmed as the new chairperson of the Association of the Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa.
De Silva said in her statement at the closing ceremony, that “a problem Seychelles faces is the fact that we are isolated at times from mainland Africa and the Commonwealth Africa.”
She said that “However, our problem is similar when it comes to our fight against corruption. There is the same problem with funding, and getting financial forensic specialists We have seen that there are some differences as well when it comes to political will.”
The three-day conference, which kicked off on Monday at the Savoy Resort, was attended by representatives from Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia.
A series of priority areas were identified to be worked on.
“In our communique, we guarantee that we will face these challenges and we will reinforce the services that we offer. We will also bring this fight to another level. We will ensure that we share with each other the programmes that we see are innovative and have worked in other African Commonwealth countries and that we will also be able to use these models that they have and support each other,” said de Silva.
Anti-corruption agencies of Commonwealth Africa are seeking to increase youth education and public awareness of the impact, harm and cost of corruption as well as promote integrity and accountability in public office in the Seychelles Communique.
The communique also seeks to promote leadership, honesty, selflessness, and innovation, and to prove the quality of outgoing mutual legal assistance (MLA).
Member governments are also being asked to enact and implement effective legislation, open and transparent procedures on the declaration of assets of senior public officials supported by honest wealth provisions and civil assessment recovery for future measures.
The members agreed to engage international communities to strengthen collaboration in the fight against corruption, develop information-sharing and further engage citizens on corruption issues at local national, regional, and international levels.
The next regional conference of heads of anti-corruption agencies in Commonwealth Africa, in 2024, will take place in Ghana in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat.