SWAKOPMUND: Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on Monday officially opened the second annual All Africa Fraud and Corruption conference here.
The four-day conference being hosted at the Swakopmund Seaside Hotel is taking place under the theme “Clean Business, Clean Government: Cracking Down Fraud, Corruption and Financial Crime”.
Among the participants are directors of internal audit; senior Government officials; representatives from the office of the Prosecutor-General as well as Constituency, Regional and Local Authority councillors.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the conference affords those present an opportunity to share diverse experiences amongst each other.
Corruption has significant and adverse impacts on the economy and social fabric of society, she noted.
“Tax fraud, for example, has an immediate effect of depriving Government of the much-needed resources to address pervasive poverty and unemployment which plague our societies, or to provide social services,” the minister said.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila further stated that the same applies for the embezzlement of public funds and bribery, which can easily feed on public systems such as tendering and permits, especially those related to the allocation of rights to resources.
“Corruption has the effect of stunting development growth and undermining the efficiency of public administration, and subsequently can result in the erosion of public trust,” she added.
Africa, nonetheless, has made considerable progress on several important fronts in recent years, and governance has also improved.
“A large part of Africa has embraced democratic governance, which has created an environment for combatting corruption and ensuring that the benefits of the continent’s vast resources can flow through the communities,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.
Also speaking during the opening ceremony was Swakopmund mayor Rosina //Hoabes, who stated that the conference marks the beginning to stamp out fraud and corruption in Namibia by changing the populace’s mindset.
//Hoabes said there is no assistance geared towards the campaign to eliminate corruption in Namibia, and it is thus a threat to good governance.
“We will encourage and organise more campaigns to free Africa from fraud and corruption,” the mayor noted.