• Ensuring transparency in the public sector is as important as securing it in business and corporate management.
• The public and private sectors must be partners in the fight against corruption
Corruption remains a major problem throughout most African countries and across the globe, and it negatively impacts democracy, governance and economic development.
According to the United Nations, the annual amount of bribes worldwide is over $1.6 trillion. Nevertheless, the world economy is losing another $2.6 trillion due to corrupt activities, which account for 2.7 per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product.
Corruption is not only a threat to the government but also to the private sector, where it erodes corporate identity, undermines confidence between business partners and can destroy the reputation of once-trusted companies/institutions. Therefore, the contribution of the private sector in fighting corruption is quite essential.
A numeral of studies conducted by the World Bank has examined the link between the effectiveness of combating corruption and the development of digital technologies. The studies have pointed out the positive impact of increasing government transparency and the quality of public services and the negative impact of political processes in the country.
Digital transformation has gained prominence as an anti-corruption tactic globally, particularly with respect to public services as it focuses not just on digitalization, but on cultural, organisational and operational change within an institution.
Digitisation is called upon to become one of the determining factors in restoring public trust in public and private economic stakeholders, and in reducing corruption.
Ensuring transparency in the public sector is as important as securing it in business and corporate management. The public and private sectors must be partners in the fight against corruption, and that means that we must be allies in the fight for transparency
Digitalisation allows states to establish effective anti-corruption agencies and adapt to the requirements of the digital society and achieve the goals of sustainable development. The introduction of anti-corruption tools in the digital world is impossible without the openness of governments, free access to networks and, consequently, information from state institutions, which, in our opinion, will build public confidence in government and improve the quality of public services.
To this effect, both the national governing institutions and the county governments should put mechanisms and policies to digitalise most operations and activities so as to combat the misuse of public funds. This will not only close most of the loopholes of corruption but also enhance development in our country.
Lawrence Kitema is a communications and public relations specialist