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The fight against corruption in the region received a boost after the Swedish Government donated $1.65 million.
The funds, which will be spread out over a three-year period, will be targeted towards improving capacity of anti-graft commissions in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Burundi and Djibouti.
The money, under the care of the East African Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (EAAACA), will also be used to facilitate research, harmonisation of anti-graft laws and policies within the region, and improving the capacity of the Kampala-based EAAACA secretariat.
Johan Borgstam, the Swedish Ambassador to Kenya hosted Mumo Matemu, the president of EAAACA and Ms Rukia Nambozo, the secretary-general at the Embassy of Sweden on Friday in Nairobi for the signing of the agreement of cooperation.
“We take cognisance of the effects of corruption on the economies of the region. Therefore, we are optimistic that this support will provide the necessary impetus to enable the organisation realise its mandate of fighting corruption in the region,” Mr Borgstam said.
The 2013 East African Bribery Index, conducted in the five East African Community states, ranked Rwanda as the least corrupt country, with Uganda taking the lead. In addition, local authorities and police in Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and the Judiciary in Burundi were found to take the largest share of bribes.
“Corruption is a threat to lives and security. Our main strategy is to work with the citizens of the region to push for zero tolerance to corruption. We will also work with the youths closely to sensitise that ending corruption is everyone’s responsibility,” said Mr Matemu, who is also Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Authority chairperson.
EAAACA, which was formed in 2007, will hold an annual general meeting in Nairobi from November 17-20.
The regional anti-graft body provides a platform for the national anti-corruption authorities to share information, best practices, offer each other mutual legal and technical assistance among others, in preventing and combating corruption.
– The East African