The Youth Commissioner pledged that the anti-corruption messages they have benefited from during the meeting will be replicated into all the structures of the Commission nation-wide.
Speaking on behalf of the Deputy Commissioner, Shollay Davies, Deputy Director of Public Education and Outreach Department, Patrick Sandi intimated staff of the Youth Commission that the ACC puts premium on the involvement of young people in the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone. Mr. Sandi likened ACC’s approach of encouraging active youth participation in the fight against graft to the Agenda for Prosperity which makes young people’s role in governance a priority. Referencing His Excellency, when he said he will lay his life for the youths of this country, Deputy Director Sandi reasoned that youths should also be ready to lay their lives to fight against corruption as their future hinges on a corrupt free environment.
Head of the ACC team also informed NAYCOM that the ACC has been working with young people in programs such as the commemoration of the 2015 International Youth Day, Meet the Schools Campaign, Accountability Now Clubs, Integrity Clubs and Meet the University programs.
He encouraged staff of the Commission and youths generally to be knowledgeable of the AC Act 2008, arguing that law prohibits wrong actions. Mr. Sandi spoke about some of the major offences in that Act, including offering, soliciting and accepting advantage (commonly referred to as bribery), acquisition of unexplained wealth, misappropriation of public/donor funds, abuse of office and position, deceiving a principal and peddling influence.
In her presentation on the state of the fight against corruption in Sierra Leone, Glennis Frazer, Head of Unit Outreach at the ACC, stated that the cost of corruption affects the economic basket of the country. She said as corruption appears to be endemic and incidences of bribery commonplace, young people should stand firm to contest it. She encouraged NAYCOM to make all efforts in mainstreaming anti-corruption initiatives in their operations in order to maintain sound internal control systems as they partner in the fight. Ms. Frazer also encouraged the Youth Commission to put emphasis on the propagation of sound moral values among young people as that is one of the core virtues young people need to inculcate.
The meeting ended with positive comments and questions from members of staff who recommended that the ACC continues this kind of engagement with NAYCOM on a regular basis.