Gabon structural reforms must lead to a more engaged civil society
Transparency International met yesterday with officials from Gabon at the anti-corruption organization’s Secretariat in Berlin to discuss the country’s Plan Stratégique Gabon Emergent (Strategic Plan Emerging Gabon).
Transparency International at the meeting called on the leaders of Gabon to embrace transparency in public life and a culture of accountability that will lead to a participatory society in which leaders are held responsible for their actions.
In an effort to address corruption, Gabon has ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2007 and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption in 2009. In this vein, activists, whistle blowers and journalists who speak out against corruption, often at great risk, must be supported and protected.
Miklos Marschall, Deputy Managing Director of Transparency International stated: “Gabon is fortunate to have natural resources. Natural resources can also become a curse without good governance. The fight against corruption cannot be done by the government only; it also requires a vibrant civil society and press freedom”.
The discussion was held with President’s Political Adviser and Spokesman Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze, the Minister of Economy, Employment and Sustainable Development Luc Oyoubi and the Special Adviser to the President Guy Rossatanga-Rignault.
The fight against corruption must mean the practice of transparency in day-by-day government activities; and its impact must be felt at every level of society and compel citizens to join together to defeat bribery, secret dealings and the abuse of power.
Communities must be given the means to hold leaders and institutions accountable for their actions in between elections, as well as multinational companies that profit from operations in their country.
In November 2012 the UNDP, the Financial Intelligence Unit (ANIF) and the national anticorruption commission validated Gabon’s "strategic document to fight corruption and money laundering". The initiative undertaken by the UNDP must be translated into higher levels of development.
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