By Ghada Hammouda
June 23—Widespread corruption continues to cause several African economies to lag behind.
According to Transparency International, 75 million people in sub-Sahara Africa have paid a bribe in the previous year either to escape punishment or to get access to a basic service that they desperately need.
Many of us encounter some kind of corruption in our day to day activities. It’s widely spoken about and yet the measures to curb it remain timid or none existent.
Monitoring systems have been set up to help curb the vice but these systems need to be reinforced. The private and public sectors need to cooperate with these monitoring systems for proper checks and balances in the relevant areas of business.
Qalaa Holdings joined the Integrity Network Initiative, established by the Egyptian Junior Business Association, that seeks to engage Egypt’s leading companies and SME’s in a collective effort to fight corruption and create an efficient and enabling business environment.
More similar active initiatives are urgently needed as a way of raising efficiency in the economy and work as platforms for business people to share ideas on how best to limit the vice.
These are the beginnings of having sustainable and ethical business practices. The private sector is continuously developing and naturally there is constant financing and involvement of different players.
Therefore accountability and transparency are vital for the economy to thrive. A sustained commitment would lead to more people gaining trust to invest in Egypt.
Countries faced with high levels of corruption face a challenge of attracting inward investment due to the fact that returns can be uncertain and accountability is questionable. Without investment, development and capital are hard to come by and this leads to higher levels of poverty and unemployment.
Since corruption is an obstacle to sustainable development, the business community must realise that it has a role to play in supporting integrity and combating it in order to create a clean and attractive business environment.
However, the business community must lead the way through pioneering best business practices, becoming members of anti-corruption initiatives and actively incorporate the initiatives’ goals.
Qalaa Holdings joined the Integrity Network Initiative, because it presents an excellent opportunity for the company to share experiences creating and enacting ethical business practices with Egypt’s most promising small and medium enterprises.
We recognize the detrimental impact of corruption on all companies operating in Africa, but it is particularly threatening to new and small businesses. We are committed to creating a business environment in which everyone can thrive. Fighting corruption is an underlying enabler to achieving sustainable development and getting an inclusive economic growth for Africa.
Hammouda is the Chief Marketing & Sustainability Officer at Qalaa Holdings