Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are a vital pillar of the Moroccan economy. According to the World Bank, it is estimated that SMEs account for more than 90 percent of all Moroccan enterprises, contributing to over 20 percent to GDP, more than 30 percent of export and to 21.6 percent of total employment. Due to this importance, SMEs need to be equipped with the necessary tools to avoid corruption and enhance integrity to ultimately not decrease its outputs and the major role it plays in the Moroccan economy.
From that reasoning that UNODC and the Moroccan National Authority for Probity, Prevention, and Fight Against Corruption (INPPLC) and the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM) have partnered to hold a series of workshops on “capacity building on integrity standards and corruption risk assessment in the private sector for SMEs.”
The latest workshop in this series in Morocco took place in Casablanca and focused on raising awareness the of SMEs on the different forms of corruption, the international standards for promoting integrity and countering corruption, the controls that SMEs can implement to detect and prevent corruption, and UNODC’s tools for mapping and assessing the risks of corruption in SMEs. The workshop acted as a platform for public - private sector dialogue including exchange on challenges, best experiences, notable strategies, and relevant statistics.
The workshops are part of the “Strengthening the private sector capacity to prevent corruption and enhance integrity in the Arab Countries” project funded by Siemens Integrity Initiative and implemented in six Arab countries; namely Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, and the UAE. The mentioned UNODC tools included a Corruption Risk Assessment Tool, which was developed within this project to help SMEs in the MENA region assess the common corruption risks encountered within their industry or area of operation.