Public Procurement and Whistleblower Protection Strengthened in Eastern Africa

29 October 2020 – Transparency International Rwanda and Advance South Sudan have implemented anti-corruption projects to strengthen public procurement and whistleblower protection systems in their respective countries. The civil society organizations (CSOs) were two of five grantees to receive sponsorship to work on the priority themes for in Eastern Africa as part of the UK Fast-tracking UNCAC Implementation project. 
TI Rwanda’s project aimed to enhance the protection of whistleblowers by awareness-raising on the existing legislation and strengthening the collaboration between law enforcement agencies, CSOs and the media. TI Rwanda published a report on the Status of the Whistleblower Law of 2017 showing that Rwanda has made a significant effort to protect whistleblowers by equipping the country with robust legal instruments.
Around 30 participants took part in the workshops, including the Office of the Ombudsman, Rwanda National Police, Rwanda Investigation Bureau, National Public Prosecution Authority, The National Human Rights Commission, Rwanda Law Reform Commission, and various CSOs and media practitioners. An outcome statement with 12 recommendations was adopted with the aim of consolidating achievements and making further progress, including the recommendation to enhance collaboration among institutions and placing a qualified whistleblowing focal point in every institution.
Advance South Sudan’s project “Building Capacities to Influence Citizenry Anti-corruption Debates in Public Procurement Sphere” sought to enhance the capacity of South Sudan citizens to provide the checks and balances of the South Sudan Public Procurement Law 2018. To achieve this, Advance conducted a training workshop to raise awareness on the existing public procurement rules and two dialogue forums to engage various stakeholder groups how the law affects them. Over 50 stakeholders participated in the training workshop, including business leaders, CSOs, youth leaders, and crucially, the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission.
Advance South Sudan Executive Director Mawa Nemaya Joseph said “Over the last 10 months, we worked hand-in-hand with local communities to make sure that there is an access to information through our innovative platforms. We were able to translate laws and procedures to citizens that had previously felt far ahead and irrelevant to them”.
To continue the momentum in raising awareness on South Sudan’s Public Procurement Law 2018, Advance launched a weekly talk show called “The Integrity Hour” to provide a platform for stakeholder groups to meaningfully participate in dialogues and public media debates regarding transparency and accountability.