Ethiopia heightens measures to fight corruption of public officials

ADDIS ABABA, May 16 (Xinhua) — The Ethiopian government on Wednesday disclosed that it will strictly monitor future foreign trips of officials and their destinations in a bid to ensure public officials’ accountability.

The announcement by the state media Ethiopia News Agency (ENA) on Wednesday came a day after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that foreign bank accounts of government officials are under investigation.

Some officials commit more than 10 foreign trips within one year, which he said is “unnecessary,” ENA quoted Ahmed as saying during his meeting with high-ranking Ethiopian government officials.

Inappropriate use of power, resource and time was among the issues that the premier gave due priority in his message to officials with the rank of minister and state minister on how to respond to public demands, according to the report.

In addition to the excess travel, there are also officials who stop over to visit some places other than their original destinations, making strong monitoring mechanisms necessary to save the country’s resources, the report noted.

After monitoring future foreign trips of officials, unnecessary ones would be canceled so as to save time and minimize cost as well as ensuring transparency and accountability.

Ahmed on Tuesday revealed that his government is investigating public officials who allegedly have illicit foreign bank accounts.

He, however, didn’t specifically identify government officials currently under investigation or the names of foreign countries that are collaborating with his government to uncover alleged illicit foreign bank accounts.

The premier, who indicated that countries are collaborating with the Ethiopian government in the investigation, also pledged to disclose investigation result as soon as it is completed.

Ahmed, who was unanimously endorsed by the Ethiopian House People’s Representatives as Ethiopia’s Prime Minister on April 2, had previously vowed to ensure good governance and fight corruption in one of Africa’s fastest growing economy.

Ahmed had also noted the impact of corruption on the East African country’s economy, noting that the fight against corruption would be his administration’s top priority.

“We have come to learn that it is impossible to combat corruption by merely establishing anti-corruption institutions. I politely ask all of us to do all we can to ensure that Ethiopia won’t become a country where one works hard and the other simply snatch it away.”

Describing Ethiopia’s current situation as both an opportunity and a threat, Ahmed stressed that “we are in the midst of uncertain times. Although there have been achievements, there are also formidable challenges.”

Ahmed’s premiership of the Eats African country came after recurrent unrests and mass anti-government demonstrations in parts of the country, particularly in Ethiopia’s largest Oromia regional state where Ahmed has strong support.


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