“Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”

“The African Union (AU) during its 30th Assembly of Heads of State and Government holding from 22 – 29 January 2018 in its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will launch 2018 as the African Anti-Corruption Year with a theme “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”. The AUC Chairperson underlined that, a theme such as the “fight against corruption” raises huge expectations, which cannot be dashed “The commission will do everything in its power to support the implementation of the decisions that will be adopted on this matter”

Under the leadership of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC), the African Union, its organs, Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Civil Society Organizations together with citizens (women, men and young people alike) will embark on a journey to address the urgent need to curb corruption which is a major societal flaw causing setbacks in the socio-economic and political development of the continent. Corruption continues to hamper efforts aimed at promoting democratic governance, socio-economic transformation, peace and security, and the enjoyment of human rights in the AU Member States.

While the continent has seen sustained socio-economic growth over the past two decades, public confidence has been corroded by a concentration on near-term priorities and payoffs, propelled by corruption, election-cycle politics or quarterly results targets that too often leave young people worse off than their parents. Rather than looking towards a sustainable future that works for everyone, many have been left with a sense of desperation about the ideals of progress, technology, trade, and globalization because of the prominence and inequality fostered by corruption.

Fifteen (15) years after the adoption of the AUCPCC, the declaring of 2018 as the Anti-Corruption Year and its subsequent launch provides a good opportunity to take stock on progress made so far, assess what still needs to be done and devise new strategies that appropriately address new corruption challenges.”

Having heard the intensive dedication and commitment from the horse’s mouth to eradicate corruption from Africa, it’s now primarily up to states to overtake the responsibility. This however, does not mean states solely take on the responsibility to tackle such a huge thematic area in Africa like corruption on their own, instead it requires the coming together of different actors like NGO’s and CSO’s to overcome corruption. The fact that the year 2018 is dedicated as an anti-corruption year by the AU, paves the way for so many CSO’s engaged in this area like Transparency Ethiopia not only to form partnership with the government, but also with the African union, to work on different projects involving different government and non government bodies to bring an effective result on the topic at hand.  The involvement, support and dedication of an international organization like the AU make the battle against corruption less cumbersome and fruitful.    

As it was clearly pointed out by The AUC Chairperson, the primary responsibility is that of the States. So, states should take the upper hand and take necessary measures in their respective countries to fulfill the responsibility bestowed upon them by the international community. These measures could be formulating or adopting new laws to enhance their judiciary and closely working in cooperation with different CSO’s and creating a good working environment for them. This can be achieved by considering CSO’s and revising any legislation that hinder any nongovernmental organizations engaged in this regard.  

 

University students training

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On December 9, transparency Ethiopia gave training to 50 Addis Ababa university students. The topic of the training was time management. 

Investigative journalism and court reporting training

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Four days training was organized by transparency Ethiopia on investigative journalism and court reporting. The training was conducted from December 6 up to December 9 at Magnolia Hotel. The gathered trainees were journalist/media professionals from different Medias who somehow are engaged with the topic at hand.  There was also a couple of graduating Addis Ababa university students from the journalism department at the training. The total number of trainees was 30. The training generally focused on Investigative journalism, what it means, what differentiates it from conventional journalism, how to plan an investigation, the use of access to information in investigative journalism, and legal and ethical issues in investigative journalism. This part was covered by Dr. Teshome Tafesse, an Assistant Professor of journalism and communications. On the other hand Ato Solomon Goshu, an Attorney and reporter magazine editor gave training on the issues of understanding courts, court reporters, and contempt of court.

A Memorandum of Understanding between different civic society associations in Southern nation nationalities

A Memorandum of Understanding between different civic society associations in Southern nation nationalities was signed Dec 5 2017 at the meeting held in the office of human rights counsel, Hawassa. Different civil society association working mainly working right protections of citizens like Human right counsel, Transparency Ethiopia, Ethiopian women lawyers Association, Ethiopian Young Lawyers Association, South Ethiopia young Lawyers Association, Initiative for improving standards of prison, Mizan young lawyer’s center, South region lawyers association, and Ethiopian pensioner association were participant in the signing of the MOU. This memorandum of understanding is prepared on the basis of agreement between civil societies and associations in SNNPR, to work in collaboration on issues of legal aid service, human rights protection, prisoner’s right protection, anti corruption works, issues related to protection of rights of women and children and also including other related issues which need a special attention in order to fight the harms in the community. The collaboration of this institution mainly aimed on working on providing free legal aid services for the community at large in issues of rights and corruption cases. This could help TE in enhancing the number of free legal aid services in the area in relation corruption. Thus we work together in handing free legal aid cases effectively through referral linkage and collaboration for cases needing legal standing. The collaboration will also work on providing capacity building trainings for different parts of the community, leaders of governmental and nongovernmental institutions, justice sectors and any institutions working on human rights and breach of law. This will also help TE in increasing its goals in building an ethically well mannered community. The collaboration will also work on empowering the capacity of member organizations of the collaboration. It is expected that the EU or some other funding organizations could help the collaboration financially thus it is aimed that such findings will also be used in increasing the financial capacity of the organization. The collaboration also aimed at conducting trainings to magnify the danger of corruption on the life of citizens and economic development of the country, in order to create a generation who detests corruption now and in the next generation was also taken as a one issue to work together. Thus, this will also help to address more citizens in the fight of corruption in Ethiopia.

The collaboration had also aimed at working on the young generations in fighting corruption and forming citizens which have ethical values to protect. This also helps the works of TE in building an ethical society. The collaboration has a goal of achieving a common goal in apprehension of rule of law and respect of human and democratic rights by 2015 E.C. The MOU is effective as of the signing day December 5, 2017. There are three executive committee selected from the available institutions which will serve for 3 years. Thus, Captain Daniel Tesfaye from human right counsel/ south district office, Hawassa was selected as a president of the collaboration. Mrs. Roman Arega from Ethiopian Young Lawyers Association/south region office, Hawassa was selected as a v. president. Mr. Mesay Tesfaye from Transparency Ethiopia/ south region office, Hawassa was selected as secretary of the collaboration.