The second stop on my East African tour took me to Nairobi, Kenya. Once we had arrived, Rima and I met with the staff of Transparency International Kenya to discuss the many different projects they are currently working on – from ensuring good governance in water, health and education sectors to advocating for policy and institutional changes.
The next day, I saw Dorothy Angote, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Lands and member of the African Union’s Advisory Board on Corruption, who told me that one of the most burning issues the board needs to look at is land governance. I was also interested to hear her ideas on how the Advisory Board can contribute to the debate on corruption in Africa.
The Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, Ross Hynes, invited me for an evening event where I was happy to see old colleagues and friends from Canadian International Development Agency and International Development Research Center. Over dinner, I discussed with members of the African Parliamentarians’ Network Against Corruption the Electoral Commission and the revision of the Kenyan constitution. TI Kenya is urging the government to issue a constitutional dispensation that allows for independence in key government oversight institutions to facilitate transparency and accountability as outlined in the coalition’s Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Framework.
Our trip to Kenya ended on a high note with the launch of ´TI Kenya’s new study, the National Corruption Perceptions Survey, which was followed by a press conference that attracted many journalists. I addressed the media and made the point that anti-corruption plays a significant role in sustaining a country’s economic growth. That is particularly the case in light of the global economic downturn that we are all grappling with.
We then exchanged views with TI-Kenya’s Board of Directors regarding the chapter’s vision for the coming years along with its regional and global significance. It was then straight to the airport to catch a plane to Tanzania and Dar es Salaam where Rima and I parted ways: I was to attend the IMF meetings on “Changes: Successful Partnerships for Africa’s Growth Challenge” where I would be joined by Peter Eigen, the founder of TI, and Akere Muna, TI’s vice-chair. Rima meanwhile would be meeting with NGOs and donor and exploring the possibilities of forming a TI chapter in Tanzania.
This entry is based solely on Huguette Labelle’s reporting from her trip through East Africa and written up by Rima Al-Azar and Mike Sidwell at the TI secretariat to share with the readers of this blog.