On 15 June, Independent Integrity(IIU) Unit Deputy Head Albert Lihalakha spoke on a panel at the International Corruption Hunters Alliance conference hosted by the World Bank Group in Côte d'Ivoire. IIU was also represented by Dr. Sanjeev Narrainen, Integrity and Compliance Manager.
The theme this year was “Collective Action in an Era of Crises,” emphasising the complex and interconnected nature of many of the crises we face in the world today, including the climate crisis, which was the focus of Albert’s panel. That session launched a call for urgent anti-corruption action to respond to the climate emergency, including a discussion on different climate finance tools, how the private sector can address corruption risks, and the development of new mechanisms to safeguard climate finance. In his opening speech, Mouhamadou Diagne, Integrity Vice Presidency at the World Bank Group, highlighted the need for a multi-stakeholder approach to address new integrity risks in the climate space.
Central to Albert’s presentation was the importance of the GCF Integrity Framework and the need for our AEs to be integrity-ready so they can continue to receive GCF funding. He also provided insights into the Unit’s prevention and investigation work and how the team is proactively addressing corruption in GCF-funded projects. Finally, he discussed the importance of collective action in this space of integrity and climate finance, highlighting our work with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) at COP27 and an upcoming capacity-building workshop in Kigali, Rwanda.
There was much interest in the GCF’s approach to engaging with CSOs. Ann-Sofie Jespersen, Senior Social Development Specialist for The Global Partnership for Social Accountability at the World Bank, stated that she is looking forward to collaborating with IIU in the development of a road map for CSO engagement in climate action.
The panel also featured Patricia Appiagyei, Member of Parliament in Ghana; Ayotola Jagun, Chief Compliance Officer & Company Secretary at Oando PLC in Nigeria; and May De Silva, Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission in Seychelles. The session was moderated by Brice Böhmer, Climate & Environment Lead at Transparency International.