Rwanda has unveiled an anti-corruption monument in Kigali.
Corruption continues to destroy efforts to lift people out of poverty in Africa. Many national governments, as well as, the African Union in recent years, declared the fight against corruption a major priority.
According to the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB)—Africa earlier this year, more than half of Africa’s citizens believe corruption is getting worse in their countries.
And at a time the continent is said to be losing around $148 billion a year to corruption, Rwanda unveiled an anti-corruption monument in Kigali to fight the scourge.
Made of 186 triangular connections representing the signatories to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the monument aims at encouraging people to have unwavering spirit and resolve in their battle against corruption.
President Paul Kagame unveiled the monument together with His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar. They were joined by Hage Geingob, the President of Namibia, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, and Gianni Infantino the FIFA President.
The leaders, The New Times reported used hammers to knock off a makeshift wall with the word “corruption” etched in different languages.
The wall signified the blockades militating against the fight against corruption and bringing it down was a show of the commitment to fight the scourge head-on.
Ahmed Al-Bahrani, a renowned sculptor was behind the monument which is in steel and an open palm form symbolizing transparency, openness and the values reinforcing the battle against the scourge.
The launch of the monument was part of the annual Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani International ‘Anti-Corruption Excellence (ACE Award)’ which was being held in Africa for the first time.
Speaking at the unveiling of the 12-meter monument President Kagame said: “We thank you for this iconic work of art, which will have pride of place here in our capital city, and which will also go a long way to keep reminding us and encouraging us to always be present in this fight against corruption.”
Seven people were awarded at the annual Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence (ACE Award) for their matchless fight of the scourge.
They are Kenneth Kaunda, the founding President of Zambia, the Lifetime and Outstanding award, The Academic Research, and Education award went to Maria Krambia-Kapardis for her work that includes two decades of anti-corruption work, including serving as the Corruption Local Research Correspondent for the European Commission and Alban Koçi, a law professor at the University of Tirana, in Albania.
The Youth Creativity and Engagement went to Jean Jacques Lumumba for his anti-corruption work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) from Belgium, the world’s largest youth musical non-profit, also received the same award, Elnura Alkanova, an independent investigative journalist, received the Innovation Award, SEMA Innovation an organization from Uganda, received a similar award.
The awardees for this year’s edition received trophies in the form of the same statue that was unveiled, The New Times reported
Corruption is a case that “all of us need to lift hands and fight against,” said Hage Geingob, Namibian President.
“But to do that, transparency plus accountability spells trust. We, leaders need to be transparent and accountable so that people can regain trust in us.”
Corruption not an African disease
Geingob further noted that corruption is not an African disease.
“For those who think corruption is African, then who comes to corrupt Africa?” he said.
“Governance is closely linked to corruption. Poor governance is a breeding ground for corruption,” he noted, adding that an African convention on the prevention and the fight against corruption was adopted by African countries to respond to that,” Faki said.