Young people in the anti-corruption fightMay 13th, 2016
Ms Arianne Kassman and Mr Emmanuel Sanyi
On 11 May, the Commonwealth Secretariat hosted the Tackling Corruption Together conference, which brought together civil society, business and government leaders to set out their commitments to end impunity, prevent corruption, empower victims and support activists. The summit was organised in partnership with Transparency International, Thomson Reuters, Omidyar Network, the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, The B Team, and ONE.
Among the 400 delegates in attendance were several young leaders from across the Commonwealth. Mr Emmanuel Sanyi, National Director of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Cameroon, and Ms Arianne Kassman, Youth Integrity Programme Coordinator for Transparency International Papua New Guinea, spoke to us about how young people can become involved in the fight against corruption.
“Young people should learn more about the effects and consequences of corruption, and use that to inform more young people and get them involved in the fight against corruption,” said Ms Kassman. “Young people should start with themselves – make a personal commitment not to practise corruption in their lives and that they won’t accept any permissive attitudes. At the end of the day, it is a personal choice. Young people have the opportunity to say no to corruption.”
Mr Sanyi concurred, adding that young people should be placed at the centre of anti-corruption efforts.
“Young people are the present and the future of our societies. Tomorrow depends on them. But young people suffer the brunt of corruption – it erodes systems, causes unemployment, and reduces access to quality education. Once young people become conscious of these challenges caused by corruption, they should become incentivised to tackle corruption.”
Both of the youth representatives gave presentations at the summit, among luminaries such as HE Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, and the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General. They expressed their hope that “concrete action” would be taken following the conference, and thanked the Commonwealth Secretariat and its partners for their inclusion.