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Transparency Initiative Seychelles aims to combat corruption, bribery

Victoria, Seychelles | April 6, 2017, Thursday @ 15:42 in National » GENERAL | By: Jamila Figaro and Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 3708
Transparency Initiative Seychelles aims to combat corruption, bribery

Transparency International Seychelles has already started its work, by putting pressure on the government to investigate the missing $50 million grant. (Victor/flickr) Photo License: CC-BY 2.0

(Seychelles News Agency) - A new non-governmental organisation, Transparency Initiative Seychelles, a part of the global entity Transparency International (TI), was officially launched earlier this week.

Speaking to SNA on Thursday, the chair of Transparency Initiative Seychelles, Chrystold Chetty said the group joined the international organisation because people in Seychelles like in other countries are asking for more transparency.

“We joined to give these people a voice. We can advocate on their behalf,” said Chetty.

The launching of Transparency Initiative Seychelles was done at the end of a two-day workshop hosted by the island nation earlier this week on illicit financial cash flows from Africa. Participants were from TI members from the region such as Nigeria, South Africa and Mauritius.

Chetty said that in the workshop countries explored ways to resolve the issue of money that comes illegally from African countries and how as members of TI they can lobby their respective governments to put in place measures and structures to stop the illicit financial flows.  

Transparency Initiative Seychelles was launched at the end of a two-day workshop hosted by the island nation earlier this week on illicit financial cash flows from Africa. (Jude Morel, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Transparency International (TI) is working in 35 countries in Africa and Transparency Initiative Seychelles, which was set up in October 2016, is the newest member of the organisation.

The chair of the Transparency Initiative Seychelles at the opening of the workshop said, “We strongly advocate education rather than investigation and criminality, which is the work of the Anti-Corruption Commission. We are currently looking at four sectors to work with, namely tourism, fisheries, construction and finance.”

“There is a lot to be done in Seychelles, but it seems the government is now willing to move towards a new modus operandi, which is to say no to corruption,” Chetty said.

Transparency international Seychelles has already started its work, by putting pressure on the government to investigate the missing $50 million grant that has been the subject of much controversy in the island nation in the western Indian Ocean.

The Seychelles’ President Danny Faure late last month called on the newly appointed Ombudsman, Auditor General and the Anti-Corruption Commission of Seychelles (ACCS) to coordinate their efforts to undertake an investigation to determine the facts concerning the $50 million grant that may have been received through the Central Bank of Seychelles.

At the opening of the workshop, the founder of TI Peter Eigen, said that the “TI was set up about 25 years ago with the idea to help stop international corruption.”

In the workshop participants also looked at how to lobby their respective governments to put in place measures and structures to stop the illicit financial flows. (Jude Morel, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Eigen added that “We have seen that many countries, in particular in Africa, suffer from systemic bribery by companies from Europe and the United States. We have to stop these companies from bribing the decision makers in Africa, in Asia and in Latin America.”

TI’s objective is to support civil societies to fight corruption in their respective countries. Its main focus is to try and change the systems which include changing the laws as well as the institutions in these countries in order to make sure that corruption becomes near impossible.

It also tackles public procurement anomalies such as the way contracts are given to companies to build roads and ports as well as how to deal with conflicts of interest.

“Can you have a minister who owns a fisheries company but who also gets to decide what happens in the fisheries sector?” Eigen asked.

In the last couple of years, nearly $2 trillion has been stolen from Africa, which Eigen stated can account to the level of poverty on the continent.

 “Our most major success was by stopping European countries from bribing leaders in Africa with impunity,” added Eigen.

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Tags: Transparency International, Anti-Corruption Commission, Central Bank of Seychelles

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