United States Ambassador to Cameroon Michael S. Hoza underscored the importance of transparency and strong institutions as he joined 20 ministers of the Government of the Republic of Cameroon this month at an anti-corruption forum hosted at the Hilton Hotel in Yaounde.
On March 2nd, the Minister in charge of the Supreme State Audit Office, Ms. Mbah Acha Fomundam Rose, opened the “Pan-African Conference on the Prevention of and Fight Against Fraud and the Misappropriation of Public Funds,” where she called for the elimination of corruption and the promotion of good governance and transparency.
In his remarks, Ambassador Hoza said: “Preventing and fighting fraud and the misappropriation of public funds is vital for the development of Cameroon.
The United States has learned its own lessons on this subject through our history. And we learned that building strong institutions was essential to combat corruption. We are still learning.”
Ambassador Hoza further noted that “this is not a struggle that is alien to America. That is why we believe it essential to share lessons learned. Corruption steals directly from the pockets of citizens, be they American or Cameroonian, or from anywhere else in the world for that matter.”
“To truly make a nation’s economy flourish and for its potential to be unleashed,” said Ambassador Hoza, “corruption must be reduced and eliminated. Otherwise, corruption is one of the key guarantees that the cycle of poverty continues for nations.”
The Ambassador also observed: “make no mistake, the public is always watching and judging public officials. Perceptions can equal realities to them, and therefore public opinion and freedom of the press matters, and it matters a lot for all democracies.”
The United States has been partnering with Cameroon in anti-corruption efforts for the past 10 years, sharing experience and strengthening partnerships with key institutions and citizens. Over the past three years, U.S.- Cameroon cooperation against the misappropriation of public funds has increased through collaboration with the ministries of public contracts, finance, and justice and also with specialized agencies such as the Public Contracts Regulatory Agency (ARMP) and the National Agency for Financial Investigation (NAFI).
The United States is proud to stand with its partner Cameroon and other African nations to help those nations guarantee the integrity and transparency that good government demands.