Khartoum, Sudan – 20 December 2022
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are one of the pillars of any economy, with a relatively higher importance in developing countries. They are significant contributors to economic development. Their impact is not limited to tax payments and overall GDP growth, but it substantially contributes to job creation, reducing unemployment rates and creating purchasing power in the economy.
Accordingly, it is essential to include SMEs in programmes that develop compliance programmes with a set of policies to adopt transparent and ethical practices. This is essential to mitigate corruption risks and improve enterprise performance while simultaneously preventing corruption.
To promote SMEs compliance programmes in the region, UNODC with the assistance of and coordination with the Egyptian Anti-Corruption Academy, affiliated with the Egyptian Administrative Control Authority (ACA), organized a workshop on “developing compliance and integrity programmes and relevant internal mechanisms in the private sector” for 12 participants representing SMEs from Egypt and Sudan.
In this context, participants were introduced to the international standards to promote transparency, integrity and combating corruption in SMEs and the challenges that may face them along the way, as well as UNODC’s SMEs guidelines on compliance and integrity.
As an outcome, the participants developed preliminary compliance and integrity programmes that were tailored to meet their capabilities and scale. One of the participants, Ms. Safa Ibrahim added that “this training is a real learning experience for me. I heard from experienced ethics and compliance professionals, and it enhanced my knowledge of international standards for promoting transparency, integrity, and countering corruption in SMEs. Moreover, we got to know other businesses’ practical experience in building effective anti-corruption compliance programmes. I encourage businesses to join the movement towards business ethics and comply with top standards.”
On the same note, Mr. Ghaleb AlTayeb, noted that “Changing societies so that one could live in with peace and without corruption is a pristine goal and an intellectual message that started by us attending this workshop and will spread the fruit of this activity to our society to combat corruption and enhance transparency and integrity.”
This workshop was held within the framework of the project “Strengthening the Private Sector Capacity to Prevent Corruption and Enhance Integrity in the Arab Countries,” funded by Siemens Integrity Initiative and being implemented by UNODC in six Arab countries; Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, and the United Arab of Emirates.
International Anti-Corruption Day 2022:
On the 9th of December 2022, International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) aimed to highlight the crucial link between anti-corruption and peace, security, and development. At its core is the notion that tackling this crime is the right and responsibility of everyone, and that only through cooperation and the involvement of each and every person and institution.