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(L) Elijah Ambasa addressing participants (R) Participants at the workshop
 
28th February 2018: Global Compact Network Kenya held a half-day workshop on Anti-Corruption with a focus on developing a road map towards Collective Action and strengthening SMEs compliance to the Code of Ethics for Business in Kenya and the Bribery Act 2016. The workshop convened 40 participants drawn from Government, Business and Civil Society.

To Kick off the workshop the Network Coordinator Judy Njino welcomed the participants noting that more than 80% of the 800 companies that Global Compact Network Kenya supports are SMEs. The sector contributes to half of the country's GDP and 80% of them provide 800,000 jobs in the country, most of which are in the informal sector. She further noted that SMEs face various obstacles such as inadequate capital, market access, poor infrastructure, corruption and other unfavorable regulatory environments despite their huge potential to lift majority of the population out of poverty.

Ms Olajobi Makinwa, UN Global Compact Chief of Africa took the participants through an overview of the Siemens Project whose overall objective is to Improve the business environment by enabling companies to engage proactively and jointly tackle bribery and corruption by initiating, promoting, and supporting Collective Action Initiatives. She shared the objectives of the project was to validate the roadmap towards Anti-Corruption Collective Action. Objectives of the roadmap include:

  • To maintain continuity on an existing path towards Anti-Corruption Collective Action (AC CA)
  • Provide context/background to proposed AC CA initiative
  • Building the case for potential funders and providing a detailed project plan
  • To maintain energy and momentum among participants of the SII project 
Siemens project manager Elijah Ambasa took the participants through the opportunities identified in the last Collective Action workshop and shared the selected priorities as incorporating the 3 tracks in the roadmap namely:

I. Pursue joint amendments to the Bribery Act, 2016 and establishment of its guidelines
II. Raise the standards of Anti-corruption compliance of Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) through the development of a toolkit
III.  Explore certification of companies upon compliance and pursue incentives such as preference in procurement

He informed participants of the decision by the Network to zero in on track 2 in regards to the development of the SME Toolkit.

Antony Kerori of Stealth Africa and Paul Annan took the participants through the elements of the draft roadmap and the draft SME toolkit respectively. During the break out sessions, participants gave feedback on key issues as follows:

Incentives to set up Anti-Corruption compliance systems include:

  • Lower cost of doing business for compliant companies from organisations such as KRA, Work Permits
  • More business opportunities for compliant companies from Government as well as other large companies
  • Prompt payment of SMEs by Large companies
  • Retention of employees with integrity
  • The efficiency of business services
  • Ensures business continuity, profitability and sustainability
Risks:
  • Loss of business in the short run due to compliance
  • Lack of buy-in from management
  • Difficulties attracting employees with similar values
  • Lack of commitment by all businesses
  • Monopoly in sectors
How SMEs can manage Anti-Corruption Compliance Program
  • Sensitize members of staff and allocate a team to spearhead implementation
  • Develop procedures to operationalize a compliance program
  • Set up procedures/mechanisms to report corruption/unethical conduct
  • Spot checks
  • Open door policy
  • Monitoring implementation
  • Reporting on progress made
With the development of the SME toolkit, the network will mentor two SMEs through the process of self-assessment and setting up of an internal compliance system. A call for participation will be sent out.
 
View more photos of the event here