UK, Tanzania close partners in fighting corruption scourge
PM David Cameron hosted a landmark international anti-corruption summit in London on 12 May. Tanzania represented by its Prime Minister, Chief Justice, head of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau and Foreign Minister, Amb. Augustine Mahiga. An Op ed by British High Commissioner Dianna Melrose.
Last week in London Prime Minister David Cameron hosted a landmark international Anti-Corruption Summit. The Summit agreed the first ever Global Declaration against Corruption, with representatives from over forty countries stating their commitment to work together to expose, punish and drive out corruption.
The UK Government applauds the strong anti-corruption drive by the 5th Phase Government and was delighted that Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa represented Tanzania at the Summit.
The Summit Communiqué states that “no country is immune from corruption and governments need to work together, and with partners from business and civil society to tackle it successfully”. It recognises that corruption is a challenge for us all: a global problem that requires global solutions. The Communiqué includes concrete actions aimed at: 1) exposing corruption; 2) punishing the corrupt and supporting those who have suffered from corruption; 3) driving out corruption. In addition to the Communiqué, countries made specific commitments in their country statements.
The UK announced a public central register of company beneficial ownership information. This means that, for the first time, it will be clear who really owns every British company – making it much harder to escape detection and prosecution. The UK will work with others to establish an International Anti-Corruption Coordination Centre and a Global Forum for Asset Recovery. We know how important this issue is for Tanzania. The UK has recently transferred to the Tanzanian Government the $7m fine that Standard Bank paid as a result of its failure to prevent bribery. The UK is launching an Anti-Corruption Innovation Hub with other countries to encourage collaboration between social innovators, technology experts, data scientists and law enforcement and civil society organisations.
We welcome Tanzania’s country commitments and Prime Minister Majaliwa’s remarks showcasing the Government’s actions to tackle corruption. He stressed that political will is critically important, alongside strong legislative and administrative measures. According to the Prime Minister, the forthcoming third phase of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan will focus on involving all stakeholders (schools, civil society, grassroots organisations, the media and private sector) in creating an anti-corruption culture.
The UK and Tanzania are close partners working together to tackle corruption, financial and organised crime. A new partnership between Tanzania and the UK’s National Crime Agency was launched at the Summit to share expertise in audit, financial regulation and anti-corruption investigation. The UK Crown Prosecution Service is assisting work to establish Tanzania’s Special Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court. The UK Department for International Development supports Tanzania’s institutions of accountability, including the PCCB and the National Audit Office. It also supports grassroots and civil society organisations that assist local communities across the country in taking action to counter corruption, such as demands for bribes by medical staff or those involved in illegal deforestation.
In the words of Prime Minister David Cameron, “if we want to beat poverty…we have to tackle corruption”. The summit was “the biggest demonstration of political will to address corruption”. But it can’t be “a single one-off moment”. We need a “sustained effort at changing cultures of corruption”.
British High Commissioner to Tanzania