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Egypt's fight against corruption has just started

Transparency International brings together a host of prominent actors in Egyptian civil society to identify the key steps needed as the country emerges from its corruption-laden years

Marwa Hussein , Tuesday 19 Apr 2011
Hosni Mubarak
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The fall of Mubarak and the circle closing in on him doesn’t mean the end of corruption. That’s the conclusion of a workshop held by Transparency International (TI), the global anti-corruption organization, in Cairo under the ambitious title “Towards a new integrity system in Egypt.”

“Egypt is still suffering from corruption," said Omnia Hussein, TI's in-country programme coordinator in Egypt, in a press release published on Tuesday. "The fall of one leader will not cure the weakness of institutions that until now have not been able to consistently enforce anti-corruption rules.”

The workshop was attended by representatives from government, media, academia, the judiciary and civil society and ended by calling for a list of measures to be implemented in order to improve accountability and transparency.

To start with a set of new laws or modifications of old laws should be promulgated. Those attending the workshop recommended a new law that guarantees that all public officials are accountable, with no exceptions, a strong law on freedom of information and whistle-blower protection. “Accountability rules must apply to all areas of government, without exemptions for areas like defence or justice,” underlined the press release.

An emphasis was also placed on the independence of anti-corruption bodies among others. “Egypt must have a state-of-the-art system of checks and balances so that there are no longer exceptions to anti-corruption rules,” said Hussein.

Egypt's ranking in TI's annual Corruption Perceptions Index has been falling year after year.

Egypt scored 3.1 on the index in 2010, a scale which goes from 0 (highly corrupt) to 10 (very clean).

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