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Nairobi is expected to play host to the inaugural Africa Business Ethics Conference in June this year.

The two-day conference will run from June 25 to 26 and brings together members of the private sector, government, media and the civil society to discuss practical solutions for the private sector in Africa to combat corruption and explore opportunities for collaboration between the stakeholders represented with a view of private sector taking a lead role.

The Conference is hosted by Milestones Resource Solutions in partnership with Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Kenya Private Sector Alliance(KEPSA), Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry(KNCCI), The Standard Media Group, The Blue Company, Adrian Group, and the Kenya Commercial Bank.

“The desired impact of the conference is to see raising standards of business practice for efficiency to drive cross border trade, business growth, economic stabilities, and sustainability of SMEs and reduce business & financial risk also making Africa an attractive foreign direct investment destination,” says Mr. Lee Karuri, Chair Kenya Private Sector Alliance(KEPSA) Foundation.

The theme of the conference is Best practices for better business: The role of the private sector in promoting transparency and accountability.

“This will be part of the ongoing efforts around the Ouagadougou Declaration; developed in partnership with the World Movement for Democracy and the US Chamber of Commerce that brings together the private sector, government, and civil society to find new ways to address societal problems” says Mr. Ben Kiragu, Country Director Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

The conference comes in the wake of a Corruption Risk Mapping (CRM) and Anti-Bribery Compliance Assessment conducted in November 2018 in the Private Sector by KEPSA and CIPE that mapped out 1200 private businesses. 85% of respondents reported that there was corruption in various forms in private sector business operations across Kenya.

However, the risk was highest among small businesses compared to medium-sized and large businesses with the prevalent forms of corruption being bribery, fraud, tax evasion, embezzlement, extortion, abuse of office, favoritism and procurement related misconducts.

“Together with our partners, we aim to bring a lot of powerful private sector and independent thinking and acting Institutions together, to give a strong challenge to corrupt corporations, institutions and people.

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“We will give them support through Group Purchasing within the project companies and to canvass governmental institutions to give support to our members in getting support for work permits etc,” said Dr. Julius Kipng’etich member of the Secretariat of the Blue Company.

“Corruption epitomizes weakness in our ethical standards and integrity. To the economy, it undermines development and public service delivery by diverting development resources to the personal gain of a few individuals; distorting public expenditure; discouraging foreign investors; reducing economic efficiency and slowing down administrative processes thereby making the implementation of government policies ineffective,” says Mr. Joe Munene, CEO Standard Group.

“In businesses, corruption increases the cost of doing business; creates unfair playing ground and curtails efforts towards efficiency-improvement innovations that could further promote profitability of businesses. Although Africa continues to make strides in many spheres of economic development however Africa’s leap is constantly being curtailed by corruption,” says Eng. Patrick Obath, Chair Adrian Group.

Some of the speakers for this conference set to be held at Safari Park Hotel include: Eng. Patrick Obath Chairman Adrian Kenya, Dr. Julius Kipng’etich Blue Company Secretariat, Mr. Olusoji Apampa CEO Integrity Organization Ltd Nigeria, Mr. Isswar Jheengut, Director Corruption Prevention and Education Division of ICAC Mauritius, Mr. Lars Benson, Regional Director, Africa, Ms. Fatma Elmawwy, CEO
Milestones Resources Solution among others.

Despite efforts done in curbing the vice, Africa is making insignificant progress towards eradicating corruption. Whereas efforts being done across the region are laudable, more needs to be done especially by the private sector. We believe that this conference will provide practical options for the private sector to pursue the fight against corruption successfully” adds Mr. Richard Ngatia, President
Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI)

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