Leverage digital tech to combat corruption – Veep

 The Vice President, Dr Alhaji Maha­mudu Bawumia, has called on the anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies in Africa, to leverage digital technology to combat cor­ruption.

He said: “In an age of sophisti­cated artificial intelligence, enabled cybercrime is for anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies to invest in digital forensics and tools that will enable our various coun­tries track, trace and disrupt the entire corruption value chain”.

Vice President Bawumia (middle) with COP Danquah (fifth from left) and heads of anti-corruption agencies Photo: Anita Nyarko-Yirenkyi
• Vice President Bawumia (middle) with COP Danquah (fifth from left) and heads of anti-corruption agencies Photo: Anita Nyarko-Yirenkyi

The Vice President made the call at the 14th Commonwealth Regional Congress and Annual Regional Conference of Anti-Cor­ruption Agencies in Common­wealth Africa, currently underway in Accra.

The four-day event, is being organised by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), under the theme: “Strengthening Institutions and Promoting Trans­parency: A Means of Fighting Corruption in Commonwealth Africa.”

It is being attended by more than 120 delegates from anti-corruption institutions from 21 Common­wealth countries.

Dr Bawumia, who delivered the keynote address under the theme: “Forging partnerships: Blueprint for forensic investigations and asset recovery in Commonwealth Afri­ca,” said with the right digital tools and its use, anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies could defeat the worst forms of public corrup­tion, including the networks that underpinned them.

He said digital technology had the capacity to track and disrupt corruption and related activities of actors in the corruption value chain.

The Vice President asked an­ti-corruption and law enforcement agencies to establish customised security operation centres towards fighting corruption, adding that bribery and corruption threatened the development of Africa and its youth.

He said corruption siphoned and denied Africa the needed financial resources to develop and fund edu­cation, health, and infrastructure.

Dr Bawumia said some estimates suggested that over the last five de­cades, more than $1 trillion, which was equivalent to all the official development assistance, was lost in Africa through corruption and illicit financial flows.

He said this should be a deeply worrying situation to every African, especially to anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies.

“No country, no region or com­munity is immune. It damages ed­ucation, health, justice, democracy, and development, and it is one of the biggest impediments to achiev­ing the sustainable development goals. It is my hope that together we will continue our efforts to defeat corruption in Africa in all its forms,” the Vice President stated.

The partner of Grant Thornton, UK, LLP, Amaechi Nsofor, called for political will, international collaboration and funding, to help combat corruption and illicit finan­cial flows.

He said corruption cost Africa about $100 billion per annum and illicit financial flows cost about $60 billion.

Mr Nsofor said the cost of corruption and illicit financial flows was more than $120 billion annual­ly needed to address the infrastruc­ture gap of Africa.

“If we are able to tackle corrup­tion and illicit financial flows from Africa, there will be no need for the governments of the region to bor­row to finance infrastructural and development projects,” he said.


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