The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has launched an awards scheme as an incentive to influence positive behaviour among the citizenry.
It sought to honour outstanding individuals and public sector institutions that have undertaken outstanding projects and initiatives which had significantly impacted on the fight against corruption in society.
The awards, the first of its kind, would have the main event taking place on December 9, 2019, which coincided with the commemoration of the International Anti-Corruption Day.
Various categories including Policy and Administrative Reforms, Transparency and Social Accountability and Efficient Public Service Delivery, Effective Enforcement Category and Integrity Personality of the Year, would be awarded to outstanding individuals and public institutions.
Nominations of individuals and public institutions would be evaluated by a five-member committee.
The Executive Director of GII, Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, who launched the scheme, said integrity could significantly contribute to inclusive growth and sustainable development, by assuring fair and efficient resource allocation, stimulating competition and investment and fostering innovation.
She indicated that the harmful effects of corruption on the country’s development cannot be overemphasised, saying, “Ghana is said to be losing $3 billion every year through corruption.”
Mrs Ofori-Kwafo stated that, for a more strategic and sustainable response to fight against corruption, there was the need for integrity awards scheme to honour public officials who have demonstrated integrity in their work and society.
The GII Executive Director stated that, winners of the awards would be source of inspiration to the anti-corruption movement because their actions would echo a common message that corruption could be challenged.
“We are confident that this approach will add an important dimension to the fight against corruption and bolster the confidence of the general public in public institutions,” she noted.
The Deputy Commissioner of the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Richard Quayson, said transparency was key to integrity, hence, advised the organisers to award only well deserving awardees.
He cautioned organisers to extensively research on nominees before they were awarded, saying, “Look into the background of awardees and make sure they have exercised integrity throughout their lives.”
Mr Quayson therefore urged stakeholders of the event to keep politics away from the awards scheme and stick to the purpose of creating the awards, which was integrity.
Tove Degnbol, the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, said some people had the capacity of not only staying cleared off corruption but also contributing to the establishment of procedures which strengthens the robustness of institutions against corruption.
“Ghana is fortunate to have the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu and the Auditor General, Mr Daniel Domelevo, who are super heroes and in a league of their own when it comes to combating corruption,” she added.
The Danish envoy urged stakeholders in integrity management and anti-corruption to continue to withstand the pressure, and to be bold enough to speak up for a better and corruption-free Ghana.