Mauritius Hosts High-Level Programme for African Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies

The High-Level Leadership and Management Programme for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies of the African Continent is taking place from 31 October to 04 November 2022 in Mauritius. The opening ceremony was held, yesterday, at the Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebène. Several personalities were present including the Chief Government Whip, Mrs Naveena Ramyad, who is also the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee set up under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PoCA) – Section 59; and, the Director-General of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Dr Navin Beekarry.

The event is an initiative of the ICAC in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat. It is being facilitated by Dr Roger Koranteng who is the Adviser and Head of Public Sector Governance at the Commonwealth Secretariat in the United Kingdom, with responsibility for governance, anti-corruption, democratic and oversight institutions in 56 Commonwealth countries.

In her address, the Chief Government Whip highlighted on the prevalence of laws and defined structures in Mauritius that provide for corruption and money laundering. “The balance between accountability and transparency is a challenge and anti-corruption agencies should insist on developing leadership and management competencies to be able to tackle corruption in various contexts”, she stated.

The ICAC, she underlined, operates as an independent body under the PoCA 2002. As for the Parliamentary Committee, she emphasised, that it ensures the administrative accountability of the institution by monitoring and reviewing its activities in various matters.

The role of the Parliamentary Committee, she added, does not extend to monitoring a matter related to any investigation being carried out by the ICAC or the findings of the Commission in relation to a particular investigation. Mrs Ramyad further pointed out that it is important for Officers at management level to think and reflect through the platform and share common best practices prevalent among African countries.

As for Dr Beekarry, he indicated that the importance of anti-corruption is highlighted in UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 which is geared towards promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Strong leadership, training and enhanced collaboration is integral to the functioning of anti-corruption agencies, he stated.

Speaking about the High-Level Leadership and Management Programme, he underlined, that it will enable discussions among 17 heads of anti-corruption institutions from different African countries and help create awareness on what is happening on regional and national levels. “We have to look into whether organisations are working effectively”, he said. It is essential to build synergies among agencies and strengthen the fight against corruption and financial crimes, he pointed out.

Dr Roger Koranteng, for his part, highlighted that the Commonwealth works with national authorities to uphold transparency and accountability in public services. Mauritius, he said, distinguishes itself with good governance credentials and ease of doing business in the African continent. In view of new technologies, he stated, anti-corruption institutions should be kept abreast with changing trends and should valorise capacity building as a critical element for an agile and resilient system.

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