An independent institution established for the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of corruption, corrupt practices and to provide for other related matters. 

Contact us on: +23278832131 or info@anticorruption.gov.sl
Address:  Integrity House, Tower Hill, Freetown Sierra Leone, West Africa.



By: Kadijatu Jalloh, Intern-ACC

In the quest for our nation's growth, honesty, fairness, and openness are crucial factors that will help build trust between the People and our Government. Corruption, a harmful practice, weakens this trust and grossly undermines progress. As an intern student at the Anti-Corruption Commission in Sierra Leone, I firmly believe that fighting corruption is not just following the dictates of the law, but a civic duty for all. Recognizing corruption as against us, and awakening the call for all patriots to play active roles in addressing it, as a civic responsibility is essential for promoting social justice, fostering a fair and inclusive society, and ensuring the overall well-being of a nation's citizens are addressed.

In this article, I will look at the concept of corruption, its effects, the benefits of fighting it, and the civic responsibility we all owe to society in addressing it. I will also espouse on how and why we can make confidential complaints to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Corruption according to the United Nations and many other sources, refers to the ‘’abuse of entrusted power or position for personal gain, often involving bribery, fraud, embezzlement, nepotism, or other forms of unethical behavior’’. It involves the misuse of public resources, manipulation of laws and regulations, and the distortion of public decision-making processes for private interests. Corruption not only compromises the efficient functioning of public institutions but also undermines the rule of law, weakens democracy, and hinders socioeconomic development. On the other hand, to me, civic responsibility encompasses the set of obligations and actions that individuals owe to their communities and the wider society as patriotic citizens. It involves recognizing and fulfilling one's duty to contribute positively to the welfare of the wider community and actively participating in civic affairs. Some of these civic responsibilities include; engaging in activities that promote the common good, upholding the rule of law, respecting the rights and dignity of others, and actively participating in democratic processes. It entails being aware of social issues, advocating for justice, and taking collective actions to address societal challenges. 

The interconnection between fighting corruption and civic responsibility manifests in the choices and actions of each citizen. As responsible members of society, we have the duty to actively participate in the governance of our nation. This involvement goes beyond casting votes during elections; it encompasses monitoring the actions of public officials, demanding transparency, and holding leaders accountable for their decisions. When we fulfill our civic responsibility, we become a check against corruption. By staying informed about government activities, budget allocations, public policies, we can identify early warning signs of suspected corruption or misuse of public funds and take proactive actions.

Our society becomes a safe haven for corruption and other vices, when we turn blind eyes to questionable practices or fail to constructively engage in the governance process. When citizens are disengaged and indifferent to the actions of their leaders, corrupt individuals may act with impunity. When we actively resist corruption, we create a society where ethical conduct and transparency are valued, and corrupt practices are discouraged. Each citizen's dedication to civic responsibility serves as a powerful deterrent against corruption.

Corruption can and have had devastating effects on our nation. Where there is corruption, public resources meant for development are siphoned into private hands. As a result, essential services such as education, healthcare, sanitation, infrastructure, wellbeing and welfare of the masses suffer. Unchecked corruption creates a culture of impunity, where wrongdoers believe they can perpetuate graft without consequences. This erosion of accountability erodes public trust in institutions and the government. Citizens become cynical and disillusioned, feeling that their voices are not heard or that their concerns are dismissed in favor of personal interests. Corruption drives away foreign investors, leading to a lack of foreign direct investment.

When individuals actively engage in the fight against corruption, they contribute to restoring trust in their government and public institutions. Citizens' vigilance and demands for accountability prompt institutions to become more transparent and responsive to public needs. When leaders and public servants know they are being watched, they are more likely to act in the best interest of the people.

Investors are more likely to trust a country with low corruption levels, leading to investments that will spur economic growth and job creation. Strong anti-corruption measures and a transparent government attract investments, leading to more effective development initiatives. Fighting corruption is not only the sole responsibility of those in power or the ACC. It is a collective one. By combating corruption together, citizens and their governments can build a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable future for their nation.

Therefore,recognizing and actively embracing the fight against corruption as our civic responsibility is essential for fostering a fair and inclusive society in Sierra Leone. We have a real time opportunity now, in the Anti-Corruption Commission Sierra Leone, led by the young, result oriented, record breaking and pacesetting Francis Ben Kaifala Esq., who and his team, has rebranded the fight against corruption and made it the People’s fight. We can as a Nation leverage on this momentum to play our dignifying civic role in the fight against corruption, by resisting, rejecting and reporting all suspected instances of corruption to the ACC.

It is our fight. It is a fight against a common enemy. It is a fight that we need no invitation for, and it is a fight for us ALL.