The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has kick-started a project meant to rope in Faith- Based Organizations and religious leaders in the fight against corruption.
The Inter faith Anti-corruption project christened, ‘Speak Up, Resist and Report corruption,’ seeks to solicit the support of religious based organizations to lead the fight against corruption as required under the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan (NACAP).
Religious leaders and faith based organizations are one of the stakeholders identified under the NACAP as key in the fight against corruption.
Religious leaders, according to GII, are the most revered individuals in Society, in them, majority of followers find confidence and purity. Per the trust vested in them, most citizens tend to listen and practice messages they preach.
The teaching of the noble religious leaders, per the estimation of GII, shape the values of their followers and thus, it is of the opinion n that the Anti-corruption message could go a long way if leaders commit to using their platform to spread it.
At the launch of the project in Accra on Wednesday, August 8, 2018, the Executive Director of GII, Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, explained that the project which is supported by DANIDA will focus on two strategic thematic areas, namely; public education and capacity building as well as cultivating anti- corruption behavior in the citizenry.
Mrs Ofori- kwafo pointed out that religious bodies have not been supported enough to help in the fight against corruption though they are those with the most followers, thus, the project would look at supporting these faiths to lead the corruption fight.
According to her, the project will be implemented in five regions of Ghana including the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Volta, Western and Northern Region.
Its immediate outcome is to among others empower religious leaders to champion the fight against corruption as well as increase awareness of citizens on ills of corruption.
Mr Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner of the Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) who was the key note speaker at the launch emphasized the need for religious leaders and faith based organization to use their pulpits to send the anti-corruption message out.
According to him, Africans and Ghanaians for that matter are “notoriously religious” and thus, “there is the need for us to pull our resources and national effort to fight corruption. There is the need for the faith and leadership of the faith to take their place in the fight against corruption.”
Touching on the NACAP, Mr Quayson noted that the Plan is to help Ghana fight and win the against corruption while seeking to mobilize resources from all stakeholders to fight the canker.
He added that NACAP recognizes the important role faith based organisations can play to wage a relentless campaign against corruption, hence “it is time to take our stand against corruption.”
Launching the Project, Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Tove-Dengbol lauded GII for embarking on such ambitious drive to fighting corruption.
Ms Tengbol said, “We support these projects because it is only when people speak, resist and report corruption that the country can make progress.” She assured that Denmark stands ready to support Ghana in its effort to fight corruption.
By Mohammed Suleman