Tag Archives: anti-corruption

Democracy that Delivers #106: New York Times Journalist David Barboza on China Corruption Scandal Totaling Billions

From left: podcast guest David Barboza, guest host Frank Brown, and host Ken Jaques

New York Times journalist, David Barboza, discusses how he uncovered a network of corruption by the Chinese prime minister’s family, in which billions of dollars in secret wealth were uncovered.

But, the real lesson from his work is that the corruption was not isolated to the prime minister’s family, rather it is a way of doing business in China. Barboza shares his findings with Democracy that Delivers host Ken Jaques and CIPE’s Anti-Corruption and Governance Center Director, Frank Brown.

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Democracy that Delivers #100: Dr. Delia Ferreira Rubio during her First U.S. Appearance as Transparency International Chair

From left: podcast guest Delia Ferreira Rubio, guest host Gregg Willhauck and host Ken Jaques

On this special 100th episode of Democracy that Delivers, Dr. Delia Ferreira Rubio shares her vision regarding the global fight against corruption and spotlights innovative new approaches that appear to be working.

Dr. Ferreira Rubio is an internationally recognized political scientist from Argentina and assumed the TI chairmanship in late 2017. She says the overall scale of corruption around the world has not diminished, but some unprecedented programs in key countries hold much promise. Critical to the anti-corruption efforts: “More information, more integrity, less impunity, and less indifference,” Dr. Ferreira Rubio said.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

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Democracy that Delivers #98: How Countries Can Overcome Challenges to Enforcing Anti-Corruption Laws

From left: podcast guest Drago Kos, guest host Frank Brown and host Ken Jaques

OECD’s Drago Kos says passing anti-corruption laws is much easier than enforcing them in most countries. Kos, who chairs the OECD’s Working Group on Bribery, is the guest of this week’s podcast and discusses the difficulties many nations face when implementing anti-corruption measures. Kos shares new details about groundbreaking work the OECD is doing to help foreign governments implement anti-corruption policies, fight poverty, and restore confidence in local markets. The OECD, short for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, has 35 member countries worldwide and works closely with international businesses.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes.

Safeguarding Democracy and Free Markets in Southeast Asia

A floating market in Vietnam. Survey findings show that people in Southeast Asia place more emphasis on economic development and free markets than on the values traditionally associated with democracy.

Some Southeast Asian countries are plagued by pessimistic views of democracy, as the system of transparent elections and/or government accountability are severely lacking in certain contexts.

In determining how to bolster democracy in places where it faces many threats, it is important to first take a step back and ask the bigger questions.

For example, does economic growth trigger democratization? Or does a democratic society spur economic growth? According to the World Economic Forum, democratic societies are based on policies and institutions that lay the foundations for democratic principles, such as liberty and equality. These democratic policies and institutions benefit firms and individuals, who in turn act as engines for the overall economy. On the contrary, the Brookings Institution has articulated the reverse theory, demonstrating that economic institutions are the source of democratic growth around the world.

At the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), we believe that functioning democracies and market economies are essentially two sides of the same coin, as they commonly share principles of transparency, fairness, accountability, and responsibility. This post will focus on how democracy is generally recognized in Southeast Asia and will highlight CIPE’s endeavors to build market-oriented democracies in the region.

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The Dilemma of Corporate Governance and Business Ethics in Sudan

A man in his shoe shop in Khartoum, Sudan. Support from the international business community is needed to empower the local private sector to fight corruption and foment sustainable growth.

Decades of conflict, civil war, and the secession of South Sudan in 2011, combined with the slump in global oil prices, have had a profound effect on Sudan’s economy and developmental progress. As the country attempts to emerge from conflict and integrate into the global economy following the lifting of sanctions, it must continue to navigate institutional challenges and steady itself in the aftermath of multiple economic shocks. With reduced international investment and a private sector that faces complex obstacles, fighting corruption is paramount to a successful transition and an imperative for future growth.

Dirdeiry M. Ahmed, Ph.D., (far right) spoke about why the international business community should include Sudan in its efforts to combat corruption in Khartoum, Sudan on August 7, 2017.

To this end, CIPE and its local partner, Al Oula, launched an anti-corruption initiative to support the private sector in mitigating corruption at the firm level while engaging in advocacy to promote transparency and limit opportunities for illicit behavior. Dirdeiry M. Ahmed, Ph.D., a passionate advocate for effective, sustainable development in Sudan, delivered a speech at the initiative’s inaugural summit to call attention to the challenges facing the business community in Sudan. We are sharing his speech now in honor of the United Nations’ International Anti-Corruption Day on December 9.

Ahmed’s speech traces the historical socio-cultural dynamics that continue to plague the growth of the local economy, the adoption of business ethics, and effective corporate governance in Sudan. It also acknowledges the progress made and makes recommendations for achieving inclusive, private sector-led economic development and stability going forward. Read the article based on Ahmed’s speech.

Lola Adekanye is CIPE’s Anti-Corruption Program Officer based in Lagos, Nigeria.

Supporting Colombia’s Peace Process: Monitoring Economic Regulation and Transparency in the Use of Post-Conflict Resources

Colombia’s peace process aims to bring about reforms that will benefit agricultural families in post-conflict zones.

Introduction by Tim Ridout:

Colombia’s 2016 Peace Accord between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) made headlines throughout 2016 as it was in the final stretch of negotiations and eventual adoption on November 30, 2016. Although it has since attracted less attention in international news, the ratification of the agreement simply marked the completion of one step in the process. Since then, Colombia’s government, politicians, business community, and civil society leaders have been hard at work implementing the next phase in the accords, which seeks to bring rapid reforms and concrete gains to the Colombian people so they see the benefits of peace, particularly in the zones most affected by the conflict or previously controlled by the FARC. The key is to fill the vacuum quickly to prevent turmoil. Improved economic opportunity has been central to this effort, as have reforms to issues that fueled the conflict, such as coca production, land rights, and corruption.

Blog by Víctor Saavedra:

CIPE has joined forces with Fedesarrollo, Colombia’s primary think tank, in order to complete two objectives. The first is to monitor the extraordinary powers that the president has been given to issue rules that will implement the peace accord signed in December 2016; the second is to do an analysis of the public procurement system in the country and recommend how to more transparently administer the post-conflict resources (which in 2018 will reach nearly one billion U.S. dollars).

Regarding monitoring, Fedesarrollo has published two analyses thus far: one about regulation of a major land reform law (Decree 902 of 2017) and the other about substituting coca cultivation (Decree 896 of 2017). The land reform decree, which implemented one of the primary points of the Peace Accord, affected the processes for assigning, restoring, sanctioning, and regulating the rights of use and property regarding land. The business associations, primarily from the agricultural sector, had serious questions about the rule, which led to debates in the country.

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Subsidy Systems in MENA Nations Need Reform

Buying bread with subsidy cards at a bakery in Cairo. via REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

The subsidy systems in some Middle East and North African (MENA) nations need an overhaul. In countries such as Lebanon and Egypt, poorly structured subsidies exacerbate extant problems caused by high fiscal deficits, growing populations, and unmet citizen expectations. At least, that was the key message I took away from the CIPE webinar I attended on September 26. Because subsidies affect the economic capacity of millions of low-income families, CIPE hosted a webinar focusing on electricity subsidies in Lebanon and bread subsidies in Egypt to generate dialogue on the topic. My blog aims to highlight the main points from the webinar, which was facilitated by Patrick Mardini of the Lebanese Institute for Market Studies (LIMS) and Reem Abdelhaliem of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University.

Governments implement subsidies as a means to pacify discontented populations. The hope is that if the sticker price of essential commodities—such as bread, rice, oil, and electricity—is kept artificially low, citizens will have less of an incentive to protest poor economic conditions. While this may ease discontent in the short term, the subsidy systems in place often do more harm than good. By keeping prices low, the government bears consistent losses and passes those on to its citizens by elevating taxes and providing lower quality services. Furthermore, widespread corruption within the subsidy system exacerbates economic disparity and prevents the subsidies from benefiting its intended beneficiaries: the poor. Mardini and Abdelhaliem both discussed this during the webinar, using Lebanon and Egypt as prime examples.

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