Corruption comes in many forms. It probably originated from little forms of dishonesty but can grow into larger forms like graft, extortion, bribery, embezzlement, influence peddling, and many other forms when not punished and corrected earlier.
These forms of corruption creep to different sectors on society, and it is most commonly observed in government agencies.
Our notion of corruption does not differ. It is usually in the form of utilizing the power of authority given as a government official to release funds from peoples’ taxes for personal gain. This form of corruption also enables other illegal activities like human trafficking, transactions on illegal drugs and firearms, and money laundering. Funds for public infrastructure projects are oftentimes reduced by corruption leading to completed projects made up of sub-standard materials, making it weak and hazardous to the people.
Measures done in Morocco to fight corruption are commendable as it held the 3rd session of the anti-corruption convention in Rabat.
The two-day conference was held to develop policies in preventing corruption and to obtain benefits from experiences encountered in the international community.
Prime Minister Saad Eddine El-Othmani on his opening remarks stated that this will give momentum to the conference.
The said conference was organized as a partnership between the National Authority for Integrity and the Prevention and Combating of Bribery in Morocco and the Arab League.
Prime Minister Othmani also stated that corruption is the major obstacle that slows down and makes it difficult for societies to develop and achieve stability. He stressed out in his statement the impacts of corruption like poor quality of infrastructure, delayed investments, weak plans for development, weak public policies, and delayed or prevented the achievement of societies’ goals.
He also cited a study in 2016 conducted by the International Monetary Fund that about two percent of the global gross domestic product came from bribery alone.
The prime minister also encouraged the delegates of the conference by means of presenting the anti-corruption achievements of Morocco.
Morocco ranked 90 in 2017 in the qualitative shift in the perception of corruption. By 2019, it ranked 73rd out of 180 countries.
In the World Bank’s annual Doing Business report in 2019, Morocco ranked 53rd among 190 countries.
Delegates from Arab countries like Yemen, Libya, and Mauritania attended the conference. International and regional organizations also sent delegates to the conference to act as observers.
The focus of the conference was given on the decisions and implementations recommended from the previous session which was held in December 2017 at the headquarters of the Arab League.
Government experts made up an open-ended committee to discuss all the reports and recommendations of this third meeting.
With the empowerment of their leader, Prime Minister Othmani, and the support of the delegates from Arab states, international and regional organizations, Morocco would have a long way to go, but these efforts to counter corruption will never be wasted.
Honesty is still the best policy whether you are in politics or not.