08 December 2022 – The 6th Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award, an annual event organized by the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Center of Qatar in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under the patronage of His Highness the Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, today announced seven individuals and organizations from around the world as winners.
The International Anti-Corruption Excellence awards were held this year in Doha, Qatar. To commemorate the Award, His Highness the Amir and a number of visiting dignitaries unveiled a 14m tall version of the statue outside the Sheraton Hotel in Doha immediately prior to the ceremony.
This year, alongside the existing four categories the Award also introduced a new fifth category to be celebrated, titled ‘Safeguarding Sports Against Corruption’. Winners of this award will have either demonstrated a commitment to increasing awareness and knowledge of how corruption affects sports or will have made a significant impact in this field through their opposition and denouncement of the corrupt actors who seek to manipulate sports for their own illicit gain.
The winners of each category were awarded in a ceremony held in the Al Dafna Hall within the Sheraton Hotel in Doha. Recognized during the International Anti-Corruption Excellence awards were Mr John Githongo (Kenya) in the Lifetime or Outstanding Achievement category, Dr. Ernesto Savona (Italy) and Dr. Sope Williams-Elegbe (Nigeria and United Kingdom) in the Academic Research and Education category, Youth Against Corruption (Lebanon) and Koalisi Anti-Korupsi Indonesia (Indonesia) in the category of Youth Creativity and Engagement, Mr Hopewell Chin’ono (Zimbabwe) in the category of Innovation and Investigative Journalism, and Dr Lisa A. Kihl (USA) in the new category of Safeguarding Sports From Corruption.
Mr John Githongo is a Kenyan journalist, activist, and anti-corruption fighter who has been working to shine a light on graft in the Kenyan government since 1995 when he began writing for the East African newspaper on corruption issues. In 1999 he was elected to the Global Board of Transparency International, a role he still maintains. In 2008 he founded the Inuka Kenya Ni Sisi trust, a grassroots advocacy group aimed at increasing the knowledge of the Kenyan public on issues related to corruption.
Among his many accomplishments, Mr Githongo is best known for his work in uncovering the Anglo Leasing corruption scandal, a scheme in which government contracts were awarded and paid to fictitious companies with the proceeds from the criminal activities being funneled back to prominent government officials. As a result of his reporting, the former president, vice president, justice minister, transport minister, and finance minister were all investigated for their roles in the scheme.
Due to the fallout of his reporting, Githongo was forced to flee Kenya after receiving death threats. He lived in exile in the United Kingdom until returning to Kenya in 2008 to continue his anti-corruption activism. Since then, he has worked with Kenyan citizens, particularly the younger generations, through his Trust to educate and empower them to fight against corruption.
Dr. Ernesto Savona, a recipient for his contributions to the field of corruption studies within the category of Academic Research and Education, is Professor of Criminology at Università Cattolica of Milan and University. He is the author of over 240 papers on transnational and economic crime, and since 1999 has served as the director of the NGO TransCrime. He is a consultant to the United Nations, the European Union and various national governments and the US Ministry of Justice and is a visiting scholar at Yale University and Oxford University. He is a member of the Criminological Council at the Council of Europe and the editor of a number of prestigious journals related to transnational crime.
Dr. Sope Williams-Elegbe is a Professor and Head of Department of Mercantile Law, and the deputy director of the African Procurement Law Unit, Stellenbosch University. She is an editor of the Journal of African Law (Cambridge University Press), the African Public Procurement Law Journal (Stellenbosch University) and the Global Legal Review (IWI). In 2014, she assisted the UN to draft the guidelines for open government in Africa, and in 2015 she was an EU/UNODC consultant to the Bureau of Public Procurement in Nigeria. She was nominated as an anti-corruption champion by UNODC in 2019 and by the Open Contracting Partnership in 2021. She is currently a member of Transparency International’s Working Group on Debarment and Exclusion.
Youth Against Corruption (YAC) is a Lebanese NGO which aim to educate young Lebanese citizens on corruption issues. They organize events such as the YACathlon, a sports festival to spread the word about anti-corruption issues, and the YACathon, a national anti-corruption event which encourages young people to find solutions to various corruption issues. They also organize the YACcelerator, a programme which provides support and resources to help young people turn their ideas on how to tackle corruption into reality. YAC also maintains a database of anti-corruption resources related to energy, waste, health, jobs, and many other important issues in order to increase public awareness of how the government is spending public funds.
Koalisi Anti-Korupsi Indonesia (KAKI) is a platform for Indonesia’s private sector to create, adopt, and spread anti-corruption and compliance policies. Companies must complete the 75-point checklist before becoming KAKI certified and once approved by the expert committee, the company is KAKI certified for 3 years. KAKI has over 30 member companies and combined member assets of over $126bn. The aim is to foster a culture of accountability, transparency, and integrity within Indonesian business practices to safeguard against corruption.
Mr. Hopewell Chin’ono is a Zimbabwean journalist who has worked in both print and broadcasting journalism in Zimbabwe since 2003 and is now a documentary filmmaker and a fellow at Harvard University. He has been arrested twice for his journalism exposing government corruption and is currently awaiting trial for his latest arrest. In 2020 Chin’ono reported on Covid-19 procurement fraud, which led to the arrest and sacking of Health Minister Obadiah Moyo. He is a popular voice on social media, sharing his anti-corruption reporting with over 500,000 followers.
Dr Lisa A Kihl is an associate professor of sport management at the University of Minnesota, USA. Her research focuses on corruption in sport, athletes’ roles in sport governance, corporate social responsibility, and leadership. She is the director of the Global Institute for Responsible Sport Organizations and former president of the North American Society for Sports Management. She is the author of over 70 papers on sports corruption and management and a leading voice against corruption in global sport.
Over the past six years, the Award has honoured 42 winners, comprised of 16 entities, 9 women, and 17 men. These winners have come from 5 continents, with 12 winners from Africa, 10 from Europe, 7 from the Americas, 5 from Asia, and 3 from Oceania.