President of Rwanda Paul Kagame has said the anti-corruption crusade of African countries should be reframed in positive terms as a struggle for transparency, public integrity and accountability.
He spoke yesterday in Abuja during the National Democracy Day Anti-Corruption Summit theme: Curbing Electoral Spending: A Panacea to Public Corruption.
He said the idea that the fight against corruption is dangerous should be upturned to declare that not fighting corruption is more dangerous.
He said corruption should be tackled from the top down, noting that, “it is the fairest approach and the most effective because it empowers the public in the fight, and hold leaders accountable through elections.”
In this way, he says, corruption can be reduced to the barest minimum, adding that “overcoming corruption is about four key Principles: culture, responsibility, accountability and effectiveness.”
He said Africa must discard the myth that corruption is endemic to a particular culture, noting that, corruption is a universal weakness and not an African one.
Kagame said this is why it is time to redefine transparency as a global objective that requires all to work together with mutual respect.
He said corruption does not take decades to eradicate, adding that, “huge gains can be made quickly once we decide to break the habit, and we in Africa are in charge of our own future.”
He said the purpose of transparency is not to impress others but to make our own societies better because that is what our people expect.
He noted that without transparency and trust, leaders would not be able to use national wealth to make measurable improvements in the wellbeing of citizens.
He said it is not enough to fight corruption just as merely fighting poverty, “we want to create value, we want to create wealth, not only fighting to eliminate corruption… and ensure all nations benefit from nation-building.”