Sierra Leone’s newly appointed head of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Francis Ben Kaifala has identified laundering the country’s image abroad to redefine our position in the indices across the world as his top most priority.
Speaking in an exclusive interview Monday evening at his Gloucester Street office, he said the reputational cost of corruption makes it very difficult for donors across the world to come and invest in the country.
He said, “most times, we look at the cost of corruption based on what we lose by public officers siphoning resources to their use or otherwise linking it to other projects or plans which are not in line with the national agenda or projects.”
In his opinion, “the cost of corruption goes beyond that.”
“They look at all the indices across the world, and they are not favorable. Donors who would want to either pour money into the country or foreign indirect investment could not do because they believe it is a leaking bucket and everything is going to dissipate,” he said.
For him, that cost is higher than anything which he says is driven by the indices; Transparency international, Africa Barometer Report, the Mo Ibrahim Report and all those which affect such outcomes.
“We as a people need to focus on laundering that image so we could move up the ladders to be positioned respectively in Africa against our competitor countries and in the world.”
The Anti-graft Chief said the only way that image can be laundered is by the seriousness with which we fight corruption, by the results we produce in making sure leakages are blocked, and by making sure we recover monies from people who steal from the country and above all, proper systems and processes are put in place to avoid corruption.”