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Nigeria Workshop Promotes Collective Action to Fight Corruption


(Lagos/Nigeria, 17 March, 2009) - A workshop co-organized by the World Bank Institute, the UN Global Compact and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) brought together business leaders and the focal points of Global Compact Local Networks in Africa to discuss practical collective action tools and strategies to counter corruption in business operations.

Expressing broad support for collective action in the fight against corruption in sub-Saharan Africa, the meeting identified critical steps needed to develop practical strategies for companies, civil society organisations and governments.

According to Michelle Ntab, Executive Director of the African Institute for Corporate Citizenship, collective action is a collaborative and sustained process of cooperation amongst business, government and civil society stakeholders which has the potential to be as rewarding as it is challenging. “We will use it in Africa to increase the impact and credibility of individual action, protect vulnerable individual players by bringing them into alliance with like-minded organizations”, said Ms. Ntab.

Damaris Kimilu of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and focal point for the Global Compact Network Kenya stressed that collective action will complement and strengthen already existing efforts in enforcing compliance with business regulations and  the fight against corrupt practices.  “It can even level the playing field for competitors”, she added.

The representative of the Global Compact Local Network Morocco, Saad Filali, emphasized the importance of governments in the region to effectively implement the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. He stressed that this would be the strongest possible measure to help with levelling the playing field for business both at the national and international levels.

Participants at the two-day workshop represented Global Compact Local Networks in Kenya, Mauritius, Sudan, Zambia, Malawi, Senegal, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Ghana, South Africa, and Nigeria.

Olajobi Makinwa of the UN Global Compact emphasized that “collective action must work as a tool complementing and leveraging integrity efforts of government, business and civil society”.

Issues addressed by the workshop included practical tools on how to implement collective action in Africa and support local initiatives; trust-building for collective action between business competitors, between business and government, and between civil society organizations and business. The workshop also featured several in-depth case studies from the Business Action Against Corruption initiative in Malawi, as well as the Convention on Business Integrity from Nigeria.

Contact

Ms. Olajobi Makinwa
Issue Manager Anti-Corruption
UN Global Compact
makinwa@un.org
+1 917 3672283