By Irene Gaitirira
Published January 26, 2018
Africa cannot develop, leave alone implement United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, unless it fights corruption.
Giovani Biha, Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), says the adverse effect of corruption on the various segments of the population should be recognised and addressed in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of anti-corruption measures.
Biha says increasing the participation of women in political and public life would also help in shaping gender-sensitive policies.
“Continued and widespread corruption is one of the main challenges expected to undermine the ability of African countries to achieve the sustainable development goals,” she says.
Biha says African governments should do more to combat corruption, in particular ratify the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and domesticate its provisions in national legislation, plans, programmes and policies. Only 37 of the 55 AU Member States have so far ratified this Convention.
Biha further argues that adequate organisational, human, technical and financial resources should be allocated to anti-corruption institutions to ensure effective enforcement of the law.
“There’s also need to increase the participation of women in political and public life. As underscored by the Beijing Platform for Action, this is critical to place new items on the political agenda that reflect and address women’s gender-specific concerns,” Biha says.
Biha, who is in charge of Knowledge Delivery at UNECA, was addressing the 31st Civil Society Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting on Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union and Member States in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.