Danida alumni at International Anti-Corruption Conference in Copenhagen
by Josias S. Juliussen
The 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) took place in Copenhagen from 22-24th of October. 1800 delegates from 144 countries spanning from private sector, government, multilateral agencies, civil society and media ventured to the Bella Centre to discuss topics within the theme of this year’s conference, ‘Together for Development, Peace and Security: Now is the time to act.’
Danida alumni, Harriet Asomani from Ghana and Angela Byangwa from Uganda were chosen to partake in the conference based on their applications following a call conducted by Danida Alumni Network earlier this year.
Harriet Asomani (left) and Angela Byangwa (right).
“Corruption is pervasive. It happens in government, businesses, private sector, judiciary, media, civil society and so on. There have been enough laws, frameworks, guidelines and standards on anti-corruption at both international, global and local levels now the time has come for these enactments to be enforced. The time to act is now,” says Harriet Asomani.
Harriet is Head of Finance for STAR-Ghana (Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness in Ghana). STAR-Ghana is a 5-year governance and accountability programme with funding from amongst others EU and Danida. Participating in the conference has empowered her to continue the work she and her organization have been doing.
“The conference has not only affirmed and validated our work but has also empowered us through the various knowledge and experience sharing. The conference has given us more legitimacy in the work we do. We have international backing to contribute to the anti-corruption efforts whilst continuing with our robust enforcement,” Harriet continues.
New lessons learned
Joining Harriet at the conference was Angela Byangwa, Executive Director of Rwenzori Anti-Corruption Coalition. She has been fighting corruption at grass root level in Uganda for more than a decade. One of the most valuable lessons she learned from the conference was the involvement of the private sector in her work in anti-corruption.
“Aware that the fight against corruption is complex and we need a joint effort, I have decided to ensure that my organization, Rwenzori Anti-Corruption Coalition brings on board the private sector to expose issues of corruption that hinder the private sector. This will enable us break the chains of corruption connecting the state actors to the private sector causing poor service delivery. Bringing the private sector on board will enable us to improve service delivery and also reduce corruption in contracting and procurements especially in Infrastructural projects like schools and health centers,” says Angela Byangwa following the three-day conference in Copenhagen.
Sharing the knowledge
Angela Byangwa has a team of grassroots monitors under her and for her it is especially important to share the new knowledge, ideas and experiences from the IACC with them. But as she expresses it the fight against anti-corruption is not going to be easy.
“The fight against corruption represents an enormous challenge to especially developing countries like Uganda. In the years ahead, we must step up once again to meet that challenge every day.”
One of the main criteria of the application process to attend the conference, was that the alumni would be able to not only use the knowledge and lessons learned in their current jobs, but also be able to share it with Danida Alumni Network both locally and globally. This will be done by sharing reports, videos and arrange meetings for other alumni. In Ghana they are planning to have a meeting where Harriet Asomani can share her experience at the conference in Copenhagen with the members of the local Danida Alumni Network.