28 Jan 2016 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 28 JAN (NAMPA) - Namibia has significantly improved its ranking in the Corruption Perception Index, moving 10 places to 45th position.
Transparency International, a non-governmental organisation that monitors and publicises corporate and political corruption in international development, compiles the index.
A media statement issued by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Thursday said: Namibia is now ranked number 45 in the world, becoming one of the perceived least corrupt countries in the world.
It also said on the African continent, Namibia is in fourth position, while in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region; the country enjoys second position after neighbouring Botswana.
Namibia's improvement in the ranking in corruption perception is largely attributed to its good political leadership, peace and political stability.
Overall, good governance demonstrated by our government is another attributing factor to this accolade. Government has introduced many mechanisms aimed at promoting transparency, accountability and efficient and effective service delivery to the public, the statement said.
The performance management systems in place and performance agreements signed by political office-bearers and other public officials; declaration of assets and potential conflict of interest by all public officials, be they politicians or public servants; the creation of relevant ministries such as the Ministry of Public Enterprises and the Ministry of Poverty Eradication, are also among the measures that boost the confidence of international data collectors.
A well-managed economy by the Bank of Namibia (BoN) and other financial institutions contributes to Namibias performance in respect of corruption perception.
The statement further said Namibias political leadership and the government's respect for rule of law is another contributing factor, meaning the country does not experience undue interference in the administration of justice and the respect for rule of law is the underlining principle of democracy and good governance.
It also added that the enactment of anti-corruption laws, public procurement laws and regulations that effectively promote transparency have elevated Namibias international image.
There is no country that can successfully implement development programmes to improve the living conditions of the citizens if transparency is not recognised as the underpinning character. Our President, Dr Hage Geingob, fully takes cognisance of this fact. He is one of the few leaders in the world who publicly declared their assets and who lead by example with regards to transparency, the ACC noted in the statement.
The commission however said this ranking does not mean the country is free of corruption.
It should serve as an inspiration to increase efforts to optimally do more. What Namibia needs to do to further improve the ranking is, among others, to ensure that law enforcement agencies and the judiciary are adequately funded to carry out their work without delay. National programmes aimed at addressing poverty and improving the livelihoods of the citizens should receive priority. Officials in public and private sector institutions must comply with laws, regulations and policies governing the institutions and avoid conflict of interest, the statement said.
The ACC has developed a national anti-corruption strategy outlining strategic plans and objectives that must govern all sectors of society, and if such strategy is approved by Cabinet and fully implemented by the responsible institutions, it will effectively complement the already existing governance mechanisms.
The Namibian authority must also consider expediting enacting laws on witnesses and whistle-blower protection, as well a law on access to information. Governance is a collective process, which demands citizens engagement. Information which is purely for public interest ought to be accessible to the public, it stated.