Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia on 5th November, 2020 presided over the virtual launch of a culture change conference themed “The Centrality of Leadership in Fostering an Ethical Culture” which was convened by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
The conference highlighted the ethical deficiencies in public, private and civil society sectors and focused on the centrality of leadership in fostering an ethical culture.
In her address, Prof. Kobia highlighted the government’s commitment to entrench a culture of integrity in the social fabric and fight corruption challenges in both public and private sector, noting corruption as one of the greatest impediments to development the world over. “The World Economic Forum indicates that the global cost of corruption is at least $2.6 trillion or 5% of the gross domestic product (GDP),” she said.
The Cabinet Secretary challenged the participants at the conference to come up with recommendations that will positively contribute to the achievement of Kenya’s development blueprints including Kenya Vision 2030, Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union Agenda 2063.
She urged participants to embrace partnership building in creating and nurturing ethical cultures in their organizations. “It is important to identify supportive stakeholders – the institutions that may reinforce and help promote desired ethics in your organizations. I urge you to explore ways of engaging these institutions as partners in your agenda to grow and foster ethical culture,” the Cabinet Secretary said.
A 2015 EACC Report indicated that corruption tops the list of major challenges facing Kenya at 49.4%; followed by unemployment (36.8%) and poverty/famine (27.2%). Another survey in 2017 – National Ethics and Corruption Survey – indicated that corruption and unethical conduct were widespread at over 71%. Most notable, the survey indicated that 67% of Kenyans were doing nothing in the fight against corruption and unethical conduct, signaling a salient acceptance and resignation to the phenomenon.
Prof. Kobia also noted that ethical culture formation and sustenance depends much on the quality of leadership in an organization and called on leaders to shape the culture of their organizations positively through their words and deeds.
Present at the event was Secretary-General African Association for Public Administration and Management, Dr. George Scott; Chairperson, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Archbishop (Rtd) Dr. Eliud Wabukala; Head Public Sector Governance Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr. Roger Koranteng; Chief Public Administration, United Nations, Dr. John-Mary Kauzya; Executive Secretary, International Institute of Administrative Sciences South Africa, Dr. Steve Troupin; and Head, National Integrity Academy, Dr Purity Gitonga among others.
By Nelly Kosgey