by James Gashumba, Lyu Tianran
KIGALI, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda, which ranks as one of the least corrupted countries in Africa, has made holistic efforts to fight corruption, officials and scholars told Xinhua on Monday, the date of this year's International Anti-Corruption Day.
The central African country ranked 48th among 180 countries across the world in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 published by Transparency International, making it the least corrupted country in East and Central Africa and the fourth least corrupted in the entire African continent.
Rwanda's achievements in its fight against corruption can be attributed to several factors, including political will, awareness campaigns, and enforcement of laws, said Clement Musangabatware, Rwanda's deputy ombudsman in charge of preventing and fighting corruption.
He noted that the introduction of an online procurement system for offering public tenders and the use of ICT in services such as recruitment have reduced the temptation of corruption through the reduction of physical contact.
The unity of the Rwandan people in the fight against corruption has also contributed to eliminating vice, according to Rwandan Senator Juvenal Nkusi.
The government of Rwanda has effectively combated corruption by creating a culture of transparency and accountability while making the cost of getting involved in corruption high, said Nkusi, noting that Rwandan officials are aware of the dire consequences of corruption.
The nation's zero-tolerance policy, which is maintained by top leaders, is an "apparent consensus" among the political community regardless of party affiliation, said Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, an independent researcher on politics and public affairs.
However, according to the deputy ombudsman, Rwanda still has a long way to go in the battle and has not reached where it wants to be, despite vested achievements.
In a 2018-2019 report from the ombudsman's office, around 45 cases of corruption studied had a conviction rate of above 80 percent, said Musangabatware.
The officials also appreciate China's anti-corruption efforts.
The Chinese government has demonstrated on numerous occasions that it won't allow corruption to take root, said Golooba-Mutebi, adding that it sends a clear message that no one is immune to punishment.
"China's stance against corruption is serious. There is no mercy accorded to those caught in corruption in China, and that is how it should be," said Nkusi.
China's building of effective, accountable and inclusive institutions has been critical in fighting corruption, while communal responsibility has also been helpful, said Enock Nyorekwa Twinoburyo, a senior economist at the Kigali-based Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa.
On Monday, the government of Rwanda hosted a Qatari-initiated anti-corruption award ceremony in Kigali, where leaders showed their determination to combat corruption.
An anti-corruption monument symbolizing the solidarity of all the nations of the world united to combat corruption was also unveiled at the ceremony.