By: Sylvanus Blake, Assistant Public Relations Officer, ACC.
The Deputy Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Augustine Foday Ngobie between the 31st of October to the 4th of November 2022; joined other leaders of the Association of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa (AACACA) at a high-level Leadership and Management Conference at the Hennessy Park Hotel, Ebene, Mauritius.
It could be recalled that at the 12th Regional Conference of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa held in Kigali, from the 3rd to the 6th of May 2022 on the theme “Combating Corruption for Good Governance and Sustainable Development in Africa”, amongthe action plans agreed for the year 2022-2023 were;“to pursue both preventive and enforcement measures in the fight against corruption within the unique context of each Country, to strengthen co-operation and partnership with local, regional and both International and Civil Society Organizations and Media, to enhance capacity building of investigators and prosecutors of corruption offenses and to convey to their respective Governments the importance of having Integrity Officers and anti-corruption units within Government, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies”. The high-level Management training and experience-sharing program aimed at providing a lucid package of pieces of training on a myriad of topics was a follow-through on these planned actions.
Presenting the consistent and incremental trajectory and journey of Sierra Leone in the fight against corruption in the recent past, the Deputy Commissioner eloquently thrilled his peers and other stakeholders present, on the three-pronged approach to the fight against Corruption in Sierra Leone. He spoke about the strong and high yielding ‘’Non-Conviction based out of court asset recovery program which has led to the recovery of an unprecedented amount of money (over Le:42 Billion), a duplex, vehicles, etc., the model special Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court to try only corruption cases, development of anti-corruption policies for Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the establishment of functional Integrity Management Committees (IMC’s) in every MDA to spearhead institutional anti-corruption drives, implementation and robust monitoring of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) 2019-2023, human resources development reforms like affirmative all-female recruitment, promotions, and redeployments based on quality and experience, which has seen women occupy about 40% of management positions in the Commission, in-service training for personnel, to name but a few.
Mr. Ngobie stated that the recalibrated fight against corruption has at its core the drive to continue to make corruption a very expensive, not profitable, and highly risky criminal venture that will now require assailants to think deeply and think twice before getting involved. “Those who want to get involved in corruption in our context have a decision to make because there will surely be consequences and very strong ones. We will continue to run after the corrupt because we don’t have an option. We are doing this to survive as a nation”, he averred.
The highly educative, intriguing, and interesting training packages covered the following topics; “Leadership Competencies today for Anti-Corruption Agencies, Picking the Leadership styles that fits Best in Anti-corruption Agencies, Strategic Planning, and Management for Anti-Corruption Agencies, Management Functions, Roles and Skills for Anti-Corruption Agencies, Team Building for Anti-Corruption Agencies, Issues of Ethics and Professional Values for Anti-Corruption Works and Emotional, Intelligence and Social Quotients for Anti-Corruption Agencies”.
Speaking to this writer, the Deputy Commissioner stated that the skills, knowledge, aptitude, and experiences acquired during the five engaging days will in no small way add value to the fight against corruption back home. He thanked the Commonwealth Secretariat for the continued support to the work of the AACACA.
Remarks were made from the Commonwealth Secretariat, by Dr. Roger Koranteng, Adviser and Head, Public Sector Governance, Common Secretariat UK, while the Official Opening was done by Honorable Naveena Ramyad, Chief Government Whip and Chairperson, Parliamentary Committee of ICAC
It should be noted that the Association of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa (AACACA) was created in 2011 to bring together efforts to fight against corruption by sharing best practices and experiences, training and capacity-building, and policy research. It also helps Governments to develop and implement anti-corruption strategies. In 2013, in partnership with the Botswana Government, the Secretariat set up the Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Centre (CAACC) to provide pieces of training and knowledge sharing. The Association of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in The Commonwealth Africa is composed of Anti-Corruption Agencies from 18 African countries: Botswana, Cameroon, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
Every year, the Commonwealth Secretariat organizes a Regional Conference of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in The Commonwealth Africa to discuss general Countries’ experiences in the fight against corruption, gains recorded, challenges encountered, and brood of ways to ameliorate the challenges. The five days high-level management conference was held in that regard. During the conference, every Head of the 18 Anti-Corruption Agencies reported on some Innovative Projects done in the Anti-Corruption (success stories).
(C) Public Relations Unit, ACC