Partnering for the development of a national Anti-Corruption strategy

25 Jul 2013

After weeks of travelling and hosting consultative meetings across the country, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is preparing to release its draft report of the Anti-Corruption Strategy Framework.  With the financial and technical support of the UNDP’s Governance Unit, the ACC will be able to produce its first Anti-Corruption Strategy- the first of its kind in Namibia which takes into consideration the opinions of all stakeholders, including the communities themselves.

In order to ensure that community voices were heard, the ACC held a series of consultative workshops in all 13 regions of the country. Participants in the workshop included representatives from civil society, non-governmental organizations, religious leaders, politicians, community representatives, members of the media, and representatives of various communities. Between the first workshop held on April 3 in the Erongo Region and the last workshop held on May 22 in the Khomas Region, the ACC, with financial support from the UNDP, was able engage with the participants about what corruption means in Namibia, the various sectors that it can infiltrate, as well as to devise any suggestions for anti-corruption strategies. Participants were then asked to form groups and to discuss the potential risks and solutions for corruption in the following areas: Political Accountability, Civil Society and Media, Justice, Public Sector Management, The role of Private Sector, and Land and Natural Resources. As vocalized during the workshop in the Khomas Region, the primary aim of the consultative workshops was to decentralize the concept of anti-corruption to the Namibian institutions, regions, families, homes, and minds.

Corruption, if not contained and decreased, can have a devastating effect on the political, economic, and social development of a country. Not only is corruption a matter of diverting public resources for personal gain, it also steadily corrodes the rule of law, the public trust, and the democratic institutions of a state. As a result of its widespread impact, the ACC thought suitable to gather inputs from the regions as a way of enriching the document with ample citizen feedback, ensuring that its content is both pertinent and reflective of society as a whole. Through the use of this interactive process, the ACC and UNDP will ensure that the benefits of the document will reach all Namibians in all sectors.

Although Namibia has both signed and ratified the SADC Protocol Against Corruption, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and both United Nations’ Conventions Against Corruption and Against Transnational Crime respectively, and parliament has passed several other Acts, more rigorous measures are needed to effectively fight corruption. Through the development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, all stakeholders will be encouraged to intensify their anti-corruption activities and to further contribute to a society that valorises ethics and integrity, and is free from corruption.

The UNDP has been a major provider of anti-corruption support both in Namibia and globally. Along with its attempts to mainstream anti-corruption into the education, health, and water sectors, the UNDP held a workshop with a technical working group and the ACC to discuss the best practices, legal standards, and logistics of carrying out this project.