By Bakari Gueye
The Mauritanian government is working to promote good governance and to fight corruption. Parliamentarians and cabinet officials attended a recent Nouakchott conference on the subject organised by the national counter-corruption coalition (3CM), the World Bank and German development and co-operation agency GIZ.
“It’s a good idea to bring various actors together to exchange views on a subject such as the fight against corruption,” MP and Union for the Republic (UPR) chief Sid’Ahmed Ould Ahmed said at the June 24th event. “The work of members of parliament should not focus solely on legislative and legal matters. It must also focus on the protection of human rights and financial transparency.”
“I am particularly delighted that my first visit to the National Assembly since my arrival less than three months ago coincides with this important meeting today,” said Moctar Thiam, the World Bank representative in Mauritania.
He added that the World Bank had been striving for more than a decade to “promote good governance and efforts to tackle corruption and to put these things at the heart of all of its interventions”.
According to Thiam, the World Bank noted a link between large-scale corruption in a country and its lack of economic growth.
“It hesitated a great deal before venturing into such a complex field, which one might think did not initially lie within its remit,” he added. “But in the end, after analysing the adverse consequences of corruption for the development of a country, it decided to promote good governance and anti-corruption efforts as its main priority. This is why all of our operations now have a component known as GAC, which stands for Governance and Anti-Corruption.”
Thiam added that the institution had spelled out this initiative in its 2007 report, “Strengthening World Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anti-Corruption”, which entailed incorporating anti-graft measures “in a more systematic manner into all of the World Bank’s operations”.
The official concluded by pledging to support “the national priorities” of Mauritania. For his part, 3CM chief Abdellahi Bellil hailed the initiative and its theme, “synergy between stakeholders for effective action against corruption”.