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Jun 8, 2015

Ghana’s Vice-president calls for transparency in public procurement

GHANA’S Vice-President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur says opening up procurement systems for public scrutiny is key in the battle against corruption.

Speaking in Cape Town at the World Economic Forum on Africa session on responding to Africa’s need to enforce transparency and accountability for regional governance, Vice-President Amissah-Arthur said there was need for public procurement systems to be more transparent and opened up for greater public scrutiny to tackle persistent corruption plaguing many African countries.

“It is the transparency that also provides the information that is available that provides the key answer to the question of corruption. If you open procurement systems to public interest accountability committees… that is the key in the battle against corruption,” he observed.

Vice-President Amissah-Arthur said laws in Ghana had made it possible for public procurement systems in the oil sub-sector to be transparent. “We encourage the role of civil society organisations in both formal and informal ways. In the formal way, some of our laws have allowed for the creation of public interest accountability committees.

In the oil and petroleum sector, the law allows for a public interest committee to be made up of people from outside of government who look at the way resources are used.

So, those are ways you can guarantee that the system is transparent,” added Vice-President Amissah-Arthur. And South African President Jacob Zuma said the AU African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), established in 2002 to primarily foster the adoption of policies and practices that lead to political stability, has seen higher membership.

 “This is a very important system wherein countries on the continent voluntarily join this institution, which allows your peers to review and look at how your government is doing. And the membership of this is now more than those who are not members. Here in South Africa, we have a very strong anti-corruption culture we have developed, which was never there before,” said President Zuma.