Tomorrow, 10th of December, the world will be commemorating the Human Rights day. A day that need to be looked at from many angles including the economic well being of the World citizens. Here in Kenya BAKE will be hosting an event in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy , to mark the World Human Rights Day. One issue that I feel should be taken seriously for the day and going forward is the corruption. Corruption is a vice that kills a country’s economy and Kenya is a culprit. International bodies like American Chamber of Commerce Kenya (AmCham) recognized the need to help the Kenyan government in the fight against corruption. AmCham launched a working group that will focus on responsible business practices, good governance, and anti-corruption.
The need to support Kenya follows President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent announcement of his administration’s commitment and plan to address corruption. American Chamber of Commerce Kenya is in full support of the “Kenya-U.S. Joint Commitment to Promote Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Efforts in Kenya,” announced by the governments of Kenya and the United States of America during President Obama’s July 2015 visit.
“We support President Kenyatta in urging the Parliament to pass the private sector-championed Anti-Bribery Act. The act includes elements of transparency and accountability found in the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which for years has governed the way American firms interact with governments” explained Peter Njonjo, the President, AmCham Kenya.
Procurement is the most affected section in every institution and international bodies have an obligation to help in that. American Chamber of Commerce Kenya applauds and welcomes the President’s commitment to work with the private sector to reform how government conducts procurement and contracting, while offering the input and support of the American business community. The body also urges the Kenyan business community to fully support the initiatives laid out in the Joint Commitment, many of which affect the private sector.
American Chamber of Commerce calls on the government to take immediate and coordinated action to implement the steps announced by the President, noting that its members are ready to support and assist in this effort.
AmCham not only acknowledges the private sector’s commitment to fight corruption which is a major hindrance to the growth of the sector and government revenue; but also extends support to the government to assist in refining the new Business Code of Ethics, and urges the business community to live by its principles.
Corruption’s roots run deep in the society and must be addressed by everyone: government, business, civil society, and citizens. It undermines the rule of law, enables human rights abuses and organized crime, while threatening regional stability and national security.
It continues to be the single greatest obstacle to economic growth and development in Kenya. It costs jobs and deters the investors and international partners Kenya seeks to attract; ultimately, undermining the country’s global competitiveness.