The second session of the AGA Regional Youth Consultation started with a keynote presentation, titled; “Corruption in Africa: Addressing a key driver of Governance Deficits”, by the Director General, Directorate on Corruption & Economic Crime in Botswana, Mr. Victor Bruno Paledi.
This session provided an overview of the reality of corruption in Africa, sharing insights on the impact of corruption and how it manifests in the political, social and economic sectors of West and Central Africa.
The session also highlighted the various anti-corruption initiatives in the regions while highlighting the importance of regional cooperation as well as the role of regional organizations like the AU Advisory Board on Corruption.
Mr Paledi, during his presentation, advised that young people in Africa should be conscious of words they utter, because, according to him; “Communication can either make us or break us.”
He further said; “We need to have a platform in place where trust can be established between older ones in Leadership and Youths in Africa.”
In his statement, he revealed that every ministry, parastatals and government agencies in Botswana, all have an anti-corruption unit, which carried out a monthly audit on due processes and finances.
He also stated that, there is a delegation from Nigeria currently in Botswana to study the country’s processes and institutions in their fight against corruption.
Botswana is currently the top ranked country in Africa when it comes to the fight against corruption.
Mr Paledi also quoted Paulo Friere; “Education does not change the world. Education changes people. People change the world.”
“Botswana has a 3 legged approach in the fight against corruption; Public Education, Investigations and Corruption Prevention because we have discovered that corruption is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development especially here in Africa.”, he said.
He concluded the interesting and enlightening presentation by challenging African youths by saying emphatically that; “I am here to invite you to join us in the fight against corruption. I ask you to individually say no to corruption as your personal contributions to end corruption.”
While responding to questions raised by participants at the meeting, Mr Paledi revealed that the institution which he currently heads, is 100 percent independent and free from government interference.
The session helped to put into perspectives the need for a concerted effort in the fight against corruption with the particular focus on the role of a new generation of corrupt-free Africans dedicated to building ethical lifestyles and contributing to transparent and accountable governance systems.