By Benson Kathuri
The East African Business Council (EABC) has challenged East African Community member states Aand governments to promote e-government, and eliminate corruption within their customs departments.
The Arusha-based regional business lobby group wants the governments to publish information on the Internet to promote transparency, and bolster business ties between government and the private sector.
EABC Executive Director, Charles Mbogori, said in a statement to newsrooms that e-government builds accountability, by eliminating gate keepers, and standardizing service delivery. "Publishing government information online makes it possible to track decisions and actions and thus, serve as an additional deterrent to corruption," he said.
According to the 2008 EABC Business Climate Index survey, over 35 per cent of business leaders indicated that corruption at customs is a major obstacle to doing business in the region.
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Effect Of Graft
"Corruption has a negative effect on a country’s ability to compete in international trade. Smaller companies," he noted. The International Monetary Fund estimates that corruption reduces investment by around five per cent.