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"You are the driving force in the struggle against corruption!"

It is no more contentious that corruption has become one of the major global threats. As in many other parts of the world, there are signs that it has been taking roots and causing certain problems in Ethiopia as well. Cognizant of the growing danger, the Ethiopian Government established the Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission of Ethiopia (FEACC) in May 2001 to tackle corruption and impropriety before it became rampant and widespread. Additionally, seven of the nine regional states have established their own ethics and anti-corruption commissions to fight and prevent corruption in their respective regions.
Since its establishment in 2001 with the objectives of expanding ethics and anti-corruption education, preventing corruption, and investigating and prosecuting alleged corruption offences, the Commission made encouraging achievements. In an effort to prevent corruption before it is committed by plugging loopholes that were believed to be conducive to it, the FEACC examined the working procedures and practices in more than 117 public offices and public enterprises. It then put forward corrective measures and followed up their implementation. Regarding curative measures, it investigated more than 1,200 alleged corruption offences and prosecuted a number of offenders some 300 of whom received from 1-19 years of imprisonment.
 Particularly, the achievements made in tackling the rampant corruption in the Metropolis in the areas of land administration and leasing are worth mentioning. More than 1,162,345 square meter of land (worth more than 2 billion Ethiopian Birr), 32 residential houses and four other buildings and 37 vehicles, among others, have also been restrained through court order. What is more, the FEACC was able to offer ethics and anti-corruption education for hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians using various channels of communication.
As you may be well aware, our country is making significant economic progress. There is a strong determination and commitment on the part of the Government to ensure the sustainability of the development process. One of the most important measures to ensure the sustainability of the overall development of the Country is to redouble efforts in the combat against corruption. We will, for that reason, continue to put maximum effort in the national struggle against corruption and impropriety.
Despite the above-mentioned achievements and sustainable improvements in the struggle against corruption, some global anti-corruption organizations that make corruption perceptions index have been ranking Ethiopia unfairly. The level of corruption in Ethiopia is not that significant. Besides, the Ethiopian Government is making its level best to do away with corruption in a sustainable manner, despite the fact that its efforts have not been appreciated by some global anti-corruption actors. This is the objective reality. Unfortunately, those organizations hold other wise without any convincing reason. We believe that it is not fair to impute a corrupt perception to a country that is doing every thing in its capacity to contain corruption at all levels. At the same time, we appreciate the efforts they have been making in the global struggle against corruption.
The good news is we have been improving our rating from year to year, even by the allegedly biased judgments of such organizations. Ethiopia has a better ranking (120) in 2009 than it had two years ago which was 138. One can, therefore, see that we have been making improvements even by their standards. Whatever the judgments may be, we will continue to work hard to change the wrong perceptions, to further improve our rank in the international arena, and most importantly to make sure that corruption doesn’t stand in the way of the development and democratization processes in our Country.
We have also been able to forge a strong and healthy relationship with a number of regional and global actors in the struggle against corruption. A draft of a broad national anti-corruption policy framework which governs and guides all anti-corruption initiatives and activities in the Country has already been developed. Once it receives the approval of the Council of Ministers, the policy is believed to significantly contribute to the success of the on-going national anti-corruption struggle.
Cognizant of the serious efforts we have been making, the public has begun to rally behind us in the fight against corruption. They have come to realize that we are there to serve their interests. They have come to realize, more than ever, that the anti-corruption struggle will not succeed without their active participation. In short, we have managed to make the anti-corruption struggle a popular agenda. We consider such a shift in popular thinking as the most important of all our achievements. The FEACC also established joint forums with the media institutions and associations, religious organizations, mass organizations, Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations, federal institutions engaged in promoting rule of law, non-governmental organizations that incorporate anti-corruption as one of their objectives, and professional associations.  Establishing bilateral forums has proved to be a good beginning. However, it is the Commission’s strong conviction that the process of coalition building should be elevated to the next level.
We believe that it is a necessity for a country to have one national vision in addressing corruption. It needs to have a consensual national strategy devised by all stakeholders in the struggle against corruption. There should be a united front against corruption, which, in turn, necessitates the establishment of a national coalition against corruption. It is for this very reason that the FEACC facilitated the establishment of a national anti-corruption coalition back in July 4, 2009 .
Despite the afore-mentioned achievements, the Commission strongly believes that a lot more remains to be done in the fight against corruption and impropriety in this country in the years to come. With a view to enhancing its performance in the years to come, therefore, the FEACC conducted Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) on its core functions for the second time in two years, put in place new working procedures and structures based on the BPR, and made the necessary preparations to implement the vitally important project.
In the years to come, the FEACC is determined and more than prepared to do more in partnership with all stakeholders in general and the Ethiopian public in particular to make sure that corruption cannot impede the on-going development and democratization processes. It is the Commission's strong conviction that the national anti-corruption struggle will not be a success without the active participation of the public. The public is the driving force in the struggle against corruption in this Country. At the end of the day, the general public is the general anti-corruption watchdog that monitors, checks and exposes corruption. To put it more bluntly, your support in our fierce fight against corruption is indispensable. Without your sustainable support and participation, the national anti-corruption drive will, no doubt, be doomed to failure. You are the ultimate power in the combat against corruption.
Had it not been for the support and involvement of the public in the fight against corruption, we wouldn't have been able to make the achievements mentioned earlier. The support that the public has been extending to the Commission in blowing the whistle against corruption and serving as a witness has been increasing with the passage of time. To achieve its objectives and realize its vision, the FEACC seeks the full support of all stakeholders in general and the Ethiopian public in particular.
I, therefore, call upon all stakeholders in general and the Ethiopian public in particular to continue to participate in the struggle against corruption actively and support our efforts in a sustainable manner.  I, hereby, call on them to remain in the driving seat and continue to energize and invigorate the national anti-corruption struggle. Together, we can defeat corruption!


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