President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched the evaluation of Ghana’s maiden National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP), urging all Ghanaians to help in the corruption fight.
The anti-corruption initiatives in the country, the President stressed, required the collaborative efforts of the public, private and civil society sectors to guarantee good governance, transparency and accountability.
NACAP is a ten-year strategic plan adopted in 2012 as part of a coordinated policy document for combating corruption in the country.
The plan is structured around four thematic areas, including building the capacity to condemn and fight corruption and make it a high-risk and low-gain activity, institutionalising efficiency, accountability and transparency in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Also, to engage individuals, media and civil society organisations to report and combat corruption and conduct effective investigations and prosecution of corrupt conduct.
The plan has 135 broad activities for implementation by stakeholders towards the realisation of the four strategic objectives.
The evaluation report, which will inform the second phase of the plan, is expected to be completed in June 2024.
President Akufo-Addo said though the state has the primary responsibility to implement robust anti-corruption measures, the fight against graft cannot be solely won by the government but by the united efforts of all sectors of society.
He emphasised that corruption knows no limits, its negative ramifications are seen across sectors and a raft of measures instituted by the government to ensure that institutions of state relevant to the anti-corruption agenda are properly equipped and resourced to discharge their mandate is reflected in his resolve to fight corruption to the hilt.
President Akufo-Addo emphasised that after almost ten years of implementing NACAP, there was a need to understand how the action plan had contributed to reducing corruption in Ghana.
This will enable the necessary adjustments to policies and institutional arrangements based on the evaluation results.
The President said the evaluation exercise was important to assess the contribution of NACAP to the fight against corruption in all spheres and to form the basis for developing the next Plan for the period 2025 to 2034.
He underscored the significance of the exercise, given the enormity of the work of reviewing anti-corruption actions and methods and urged stakeholders to support the effort.
“Fighting corruption is a shared responsibility. This is why we must all see the evaluation of the maiden NACAP and the development of NACAPII as the responsibility of all stakeholders in this nation, citizens and non-citizens alike,” he noted.
The NACAP will be evaluated by a team of experts led by the Statistical Service and supported by international evaluators from the UNODC to gauge the exercise with global best practices to guarantee credibility.
President Akufo-Addo expressed optimism that a high-quality evaluation of NACAP would be conducted using a wide range of information sources with several appropriate methods and tools
He said the evaluation results would promote accountability and integrity.
“I urge all stakeholders to give the exercise the priority it deserves to ensure a successful evaluation…Let us embrace it as a beneficial learning tool rather than threatening scrutiny,” he said.
Mr Emmanuel Adumua-Bossman, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Presidency and Chairman of the NACAP High-Level Implementation Committee stated that the Plan, which had been in place since 2009, would concretise the plethora of anti-corruption measures that the country has worked to achieve to ensure resilience against corruption.
He stated that the NACAP, which requires a complete examination, required stakeholders to commit to delivering a comprehensive, reliable and feasible action plan by the end of the process in June 2024.
“Our goal is to ensure that at the end of this evaluation, Ghana would be ready to implement NACAP II and thereby consolidate our gains made under the current dispensation,” he said.
Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and Vice Chairman of the NACAP High-level Implementation Committee, said the programme had played a pivotal role in strengthening Ghana’s commitment to the ideals of transparency, accountability and integrity over the past nine years.
He said corruption was still a major threat to sustainable development because it continued to undermine good governance and the rule of law, eroded public confidence in the merit rewards system, fostered public sector incompetence and ineptitude, promoted poor inefficient service delivery, and perpetuated poverty and underdevelopment.
“We, in Ghana, are familiar with the devastating effects of corruption, hence the Mission of NACAP to mobilise the efforts and resources of all stakeholders to prevent and combat corruption,” he said.
“The importance of National Action Plans, especially those focused on anti-corruption, cannot be overemphasised. For us in Ghana, the development and implementation of NACAP since 2015 has been a collective endeavour. From government agencies to civil society, from the private sector to everyday citizens, it has indeed been a “United Ghana Against Corruption,” he said.
Mr Quayson said though the evaluation of the NACAP would lay the foundation for the development of a NACAP II, “we must see NACAP II as not just a continuation but an opportunity to consolidate the gains and commitment we have made in the fight against corruption.”
“It is an opportunity to refine our approaches, address emerging threats, and engage a broader spectrum of stakeholders to ensure inclusivity and effectiveness,” he said.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD