Business News

Corruption holds back Kenya's growth prospects

Bribery and corruption costs the economy about Sh3.4 trillion ($40 billion) annually, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has said.

Chief Executive Betty Maina said this remains a threat to any improved growth prospects for the country.

Speaking during the launch of a book on Case Studies of Anti-bribery and Corruption Practices among Kenyan companies, Ms Maina noted that companies have the power to combat the vice to register improved profitability.

KAM Chairman Polycarp Igathe noted that corruption and bribery remain a threat to public trust and confidence in most institutions and companies. "In East Africa, the two are indirect impediments to growth, development and even the security of the people," he said in the publication's preface.

The case study was done by KAM, KPMG and the British High Commission. It seeks to work on Anti-Bribery and Corruption (AB&C) frameworks. British High Commissioner to Kenya Christine Turner explained that the effort aims at bringing industry players together to combat the vice.
"The study by KPMG states that there is nothing complicated about doing this given strong corporate leadership, clear systems as the case studies set out," noted Turner.
He said the cost of corruption has seen a decline in investments with impact on creating more jobs and growth.

Turner, however, lauded latest efforts such as e-procurement by the Government to combat corruption, arguing that this will create a desired impact desired in the economy.
The book attempts companies to identify and understand bribery and corruption risks that can undermine their business objectives.

Besides they are required to evaluate and design and operational effectiveness of Anti-bribery and Corruption compliance programmes. According to the Transparency International, Kenya is ranked at position 133 out of 174 in the 2012 perception index.This implies that the country's bribery and corruption risks are high thus a hindrance to an improved ease of doing business. Examples of corrupt activities include employees accepting inducements, paying or offering or promising a bribe.

Companies whose practices were used as benchmarks in the case studies and who are signatories to the UNGC include Safaricom, East African Breweries, Kapa Oil Refineries and AAR.
Key thematic areas KPMG looked at include governance bribery and corruption risk assessment, due diligence communication and training. Others include monitoring and response, response and investigative procedures.

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