By: Bernard Abass Kargbo - Public Education Officer, ACC
A Team of Expert Consultants, hired by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to put together the 5th Generation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) on Thursday 18th January, 2024, engaged Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in continuation of the ongoing stakeholder consultation for the crafting of the Strategy which will run from 2024 to 2028. The event took place on at the Commission’s Conference Hall, Integrity House, Tower Hill, in Freetown. The engagement attracted participants from a cross-section of MDAs, CSOs, and the media, to shed light on issues bordering their everyday encounters with corruption and to proffer recommendations to combat them.
Welcoming the participants, the Deputy Commissioner of ACC Augustine Foday Ngobie, highlighted the importance of crafting a very good strategy in fighting corruption, as it is the bedrock upon which the fight will be structured in the next 5 years. For this reason, he said the vast knowledge and experience of the experts will be of essence to the crafting process. Mr. Ngobie noted that “corruption is against the survival of humanity, as it hinders the survival of every citizen.” He continued by informing his audience that curbing corruption should be the utmost concern of all present. He underpinned the importance of including everyone in the development of the strategy, to ensure a corrupt-free society, noting that the input of all participants will be highly cherished. He ended by encouraging all participants to work in tandem with the Commission to end the menace of corruption.
The Director of the NACS Secretariat Nabilahi Musa Kamara informed his audience that the creation of the NACS stemmed from the decision of Sierra Leone to sign the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) which makes it mandatory for Member States to develop a national anti-corruption strategy, which is the roadmap to fight corruption and build the internal structures of MDAs and Local Councils. In developing the strategy, he said, the UNCAC states that a national consultation must be conducted to get the views of the majority of the citizenry. “The Convention indicates that in developing this strategy we should talk to a large section of people in the country, as it should have a wider participation where people will have their say on issues bordering on corruption,” Mr. Kamara said. He continued by assuring his audience that their input will be a part of the strategy and that no one will be intimidated for sharing their views on how the fight against corruption should be conducted in the next 5 years. The strategy, he said, will help us build stronger institutions that will stand the test of time to combat corrupt practices.
The Chairman of the Team of Experts, Kebbe Kouroma, started off by encouraging the participants to own the meeting, as the engagement will lead to the crafting of a document that will be used to fight corruption in Sierra Leone. “We have come here to listen to you, learn from you, and then take important notes to build a strategy that will work for the ACC and the country as a whole.” Mr. Kouroma challenged his audience to dig deep within themselves and bring out what they feel are the issues related to corruption in their various institutions, what are the causes of corruption, and what solutions they will proffer to combat its existence.
The engagement climaxed with submissions from the participants who showed great commitment and desire to proffer solutions that the Team of Experts will incorporate in the next National Anti-Corruption Strategy.
© Public Relations Units, ACC