By: Paul A. Conteh, Media and Public Relations Consultant
Since his ascension as Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Barrister Francis Ben Kaifala has prided the national entity on the 'think globally, act locally' mantra. For the past years, the charismatic lawyer and human rights activist has pushed the country's leading anti-graft agency to work diligently on the ground and watch international awards penetrate this tiny nation on the West Coast of Africa. This is exactly the success story of the Commission.
In the 21st-century world-which is more global, digitally enabled and transparent – with faster speeds of information flow and innovation. And where nothing big gets done without a complex matrix, data is critical in tracking progress. The Anti-Corruption Commission has infused this best practice into the overall work approach. Recently, Transparency International released the Corruption Perception Index for 2022. The country moved from 115th position to 110th in a year. The Report confirmed Sierra Leone has progressed through the ranks for the fourth consecutive year.
To begin with, Barrister Kaifala first informed and poured countless gratitude on the staff of the Commission. He pointed to the data that confirmed Sierra Leone climbed the ladder again. This class action was done before the general populace became aware of this development. This is a testament to the incredible leadership of Francis and his team of astute professionals at the Anti-Corruption Commission.
In addition to the global attraction and accolades, the Commission has mainstreamed the war on corruption. From participating in the orientation of new students at Fourah Bay College to the monitoring of the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA)-led Social Safety Net programme, the Commission has successfully factored the corruption conversation into every aspect of Sierra Leone’s public, academic and cultural spheres. Earlier this month, the Deputy Commissioner, Augustine Foday-Ngobie gave a lecture to 360 youth corps at the Peace Mission Training Centre in Freetown. This is just another case of the Anti-Corruption Commission sparking a debate.
Mr. Ngobie, a super-seasoned public servant charged the youths with a sermon on integrity, honesty and decency. He used the moment to detail the work, the gains and the challenges of the Commission. In turn, the youths were deeply receptive and appreciative of the Commission. Years ago, participation in such activity by the Commission staff was unthinkable. Today, it is the norm.
Credit should be given to the Kaifala-led Commission for the gains made thus far in the fight against corruption. The data from the 2022 Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index showed steady progress has been made in the past four years.
Furthermore, the corruption conversation is a huge part of mainstream debates in Sierra Leone. The data and discussions point at one thing – and one thing only in the fight to win corruption in Sierra Leone – progress!
©️ Public Relations Unit, ACC