The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has revealed that the majority of Ghanaians are yet to adequately understand the dynamics and complexity of corruption.
Mr. Michael Boadi, Funds Manager of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International said even though Ghana was always among the first five countries to ratify international conventions on issues such as corruption, the country was unable to domesticate them to achieve the needed aims.
He described actively reporting corruption-related acts as witnesses or victims as a major weapon available to the citizens to help curb the canker during the 12th monthly stakeholder engagement seminar organized by the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office which is a platform rolled out for state and non-state actors to address national issues, monitored by the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) in Tema
Speaking on the topic: “Is the fight against corruption a mirage or reality? Mr. Boadi urged citizens to also play their role as key stakeholders in fighting corruption adding that they should stop being naïve.
He said Ghana could only fight against corruption if citizens are mobilized to fully get involved either by reporting acts of corruption or stop giving bribes. Corruption is a major problem the nation and Africa as a whole were facing.
He identified some factors eroding the gains in the fight against corruption in Ghana, such as excessive partisan politics and a lack of sustained and effective measures to support the fight.
He said there was also poor coordination among state institutions responsible for the fight against corruption, a lackadaisical approach by the government, and the failure to foster local ownership to ensure that the public actively participates in the formulation and implementation of the laws.
Mr. Boadi called for a collective anti-corruption campaign, stressing that “the media could use the various social media platforms available to help in the sensitization and educating individuals to help fight corruption”.
He elaborated that policy discourse on corruption could be filed in press releases, submission of memorandums, and policy reliefs to aid in stopping corruption.
Mr. Francis Ameyibor, Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Manager noted that Ghana needs active citizens’ involvement in the fight against corrupt practices, “we need active anti-corruption crusaders, not passive actors fight from the front roll during the day yet fuel it from the back doors to benefit from it.
“Corruption is destroying the foundation of the nation, citizens are losing hope in the political class who are perceived to be the main actors in the corruption business, and people are losing faith in the ability of anti-corruption state agencies ability to protect the public funds.
“Gradually we are eroding the public confidence in state and non-state machinery, and we must drastically work out to stop the growing desire of the youth to either join the corruption bandwagon to get rich quickly,” Mr. Ameyibor stated.
Mr. Ameyibor said the government and other organizations were making several interventions to curb the canker, stressing that the role of the media was critical in promoting good governance and controlling corruption.
He said the fight against corruption will bear little fruit without the media raising the awareness of public officials and the general public about the dangers of corruption and the duty of every citizen to combat corruption.
The monthly engagement also serves as a motivational mechanism to recognize the editorial contribution of reporters towards national development in general and the growth and promotion of the Tema GNA as the industrial news hub.