On 26th May Ace Africa was recognised and honoured as an important participating institution of The State of Integrity in Kenya: Translating Commitments into Results, held in Nairobi, which focused on addressing corruption within Kenya.
Although corruption occurs in every country the large-scale government corruption in Kenya and across many African countries is unique and has an enormous negative impact on development. Corruption is known to devour substantial portions of the continent’s tax revenue, its gross domestic product and even international aid. Overcoming the corruption issue is crucial for Kenya’s future particularly in the health sector. The over-pricing of medical supplies and corruption within the health procurement system is an insidious problem, which negatively impacts vulnerable proportions of the population most severely.
There is clearly no magic bullet to reverse the problem but a multifaceted approach to increase transparency and accountably within the public and private sector is needed. The State of Integrity in Kenya conference aimed to do just this. Indeed, a selection of civil society institutions, including Ace Africa, came together at the National Conference to track progress against the Presidential directives, spotlight the progress and challenges of reforming public procurement and create new strategies and relationships required to reclaim Kenya from the cartels of impunity and grand corruption.
Calls to action included defining strategies towards ‘Sealing Corruption Loopholes’, ‘Fostering Meaningful Public Engagement’ and ‘Enforcing Zero Tolerance on Corruption’. A central theme discussed within the conference was the notion that Kenyan citizens must play a central role as social auditors, investigators, beneficiaries and implementers in the absence of a vibrant, capable and independent anti-corruption agency.