By: Alex A. Bah – Communications Officer, ACC
At a National Public Speaking event organized by the Frenzy Network-Sierra Leone, the Director of Public Education and External Outreach Department, of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Patrick Sandi, delivered a keynote address on the Importance of Speech in the fight against corruption.
This event which took place at the Council of Churches Sierra Leone Hall, Brookfields, Freetown, on the 11th June, 2022, had young people that competed and made presentations on various topics on corruption, cyber-bullying, healthcare, digitalization among many others.
Serving a distinguished guest speaker, Director Sandi informed the audience that ‘Knowledge and awareness’ are very key in the fight against corruption. He described both as the understanding that the people have on what exactly constitutes corruption, and that it is something evil, ungodly and unacceptable, and therefore be at readiness to fight and defeat it.
Mr. Sandi also noted that words are important tools in the fight to defeat corruption and should be used wisely and judiciously. He referenced Georgia, that their 36 years President, Mikhail Saakashvili in 2004, with very strong words initiated radical anti-corruption reforms, which today is amon the many success stories in the 21st century. He quoted the words of Saakashvili that strongly registered his commitment expressed to declare war on corruption through effective policy reforms.
He continued, by informing them that just as the Georgian lead anti-graft fighter, Commissioner Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. was appointed at the youthful age of 34, and he has made unimaginable successes. He told them about the Special Anti-Corruption Division within the High Court of Sierra Leone, established in 2019, to try anti-corruption matters exclusively and expeditiously. He furthered that the parent 2008 AC Act was amended in 2019, with stiffer punishments.
”Sierra Leone like Georgia now, boasts of sitting at comfortable spots, enjoying constant upward mobility in various local and International corruption perception assessments”, Director Sandi noted whilst informing the audience about the country’s monumental performances in the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Scorecard, Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, among many others, that he said has made Sierra Leone a perfect model in Africa.
He concluded by encouraging young people to develop their confidence, hone their speaking abilities, and use them to speak up on ills happening in society, especially corruption, by being bold enough to ask questions, make reports, and lend their voices in effecting the much needed and desired change.