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Maiden Ghana Integrity Awards slated for December 9

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has launched an award scheme meant to recognise the efforts of outstanding individuals and public sector institutions making significant contributions to the   fight against corruption.

The presentation of the awards is scheduled for December 9, 2019.The processes, categories, eligibility and other details relative to the awards can be found on

www.ghanaintegrityawards.com.

The scheme, dubbed Ghana Integrity Awards, is the first of its kind in the country and would be used as an incentive to influence positive behavior in Ghana among others.

The award scheme was launched in Accra on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 by GII with support from DANIDA.

The event brought together anti -corruption agencies including CHRAJ, EOCO, Audit Service, CDD-Ghana, Imani- Ghana, the media among other groups.

Addressing participants at the launch, the Executive Director of GII, Mrs. Linda Ofori Kwafo bemoaned the perception of low integrity among public and political officials over the years contributed largely to a growing cynicism.

According to her, although the 2018  Transparency International Corruption  Perception Index shows marginal improvement  for the country, corruption  scandals  frequently inundates the airwaves, an  indication  that there still remains an  uphill  task  in the anti -corruption crusade

Mr Ofori – Kwafo pointed out that “the deleterious effects of corruption on Ghana’s development cannot be overemphasized.  The Country is said to be losing three billion USD equivalent   of 13.5 billion GHS every year through corruption.”

She told the gathering that the fight against corruption has been long fought with the traditional approaches of prevention, investigation and sanctions. However, there have been limited successes to these approaches.

“GII is therefore of the view that, a  more strategic and sustainable response to the fight against  corruption lies  in the effective application of traditional approaches complimented with other non- traditional approaches such as an  integrity award scheme  that honours public officials  who have demonstrated integrity  in their work and in society,” she said.

She explained that one key strength of awards as an anti-corruption tool is that the awardee tends to abide by the views held by the giver and general public. In this sense, she stressed, an integrity awardee would continue to portray exemplary behavior for others to emulating, “adding it is worth noting that the positive effect of an award scheme may not be immediate, but as it gains momentum, others will work to attain it.

The Danish Ambassador to Ghana Tove Degnbol was delight about the initiative, insisting that recognizing institutions and individuals who demonstrate integrity, transparency and accountability in their work is positive way of creating incentives to combat corruption.

She posited that usually when issues of corruption are being discussed, the focus is on lack of integrity, the negative impact of corruption and the frustration about the lack of sanctions when people are found guilty in corruption.

“It is refreshing and encouraging to learn about the efforts made to curb corruption and hopefully there would will be some valuable inspiration from those given the awards”

Oh his  part, Mr Richard  Quayson, Deputy  Commissioner at CHRAJ, commended  the GII and  its  partners for  launching the award scheme  which he  believes would  go a long way to help  in the fight against corruption  in the country.

He advised the organizers of the Awards scheme to remain focus in other not to allow the awards to be discredited.

 

By Mohammed Suleman

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