Business leaders from the Sub-Saharan African region on Tuesday renewed commitment to support the war against graft that is responsible for the loss of about 30 percent of the continent’s GDP.
The executives who attended the Africa Business Ethics Conference in Nairobi said they will rally behind government-led efforts to stamp out corruption which is to blame for stagnating economic growth and jeopardizing security and cohesion.
“Corruption is a threat to the growth of businesses and continues to hamper efforts to address poverty and inequality in many African countries,” said Lee Karuri, the Chair of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) Foundation.
“The private sector is therefore committed to assisting governments root out graft through legislation and public awareness on the vice,” he added.
Kenya is hosting a two-day Africa Business Ethics Conference attended by industry executives, policymakers, scholars and campaigners to discuss innovative ways of enhancing private sector participation in anti-graft war.
The conference that runs from June 25 to 26 has been organized by KEPSA Foundation through its Multi-sectoral Initiative Against Corruption (MSIAC) and Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).
Lars Benson, CIPE Regional Director for Africa said that strong legislation combined with political goodwill and engagement of citizens is key to eradicate corruption in the world’s second largest continent.
“Africa must build strong democratic institutions, enforce the laws and engage the public in order to win the war against corruption,” said Benson.
He said that eradicating corruption will stimulate growth of local enterprises while enhancing the provision of critical services like education, health, water and social security to the population.
Fatma Elmaawy, chief executive officer of the consultancy firm, Milestone Resources Solution, said that action on graft is key to the sustainability of African indigenous enterprises.
“Corruption has stifled growth of Africa’s small and medium-sized enterprises that provide the bulk of new jobs and its eradication will have impacts on service delivery and security,” said Elmaawy.