Policy Forum Breakfast Debate on Working with Government to Enhance Accountability:The Business case for ethical conduct

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The Private sector in Tanzania has been urged to create incentives to promote ethical conduct in their businesses such as initiating reward schemes. The call was made by Joel Nanauka, a presenter at the debate when he was presenting on “What are the incentives for Tanzanian businesses to conduct their operations in an ethical manner?” during the Policy Forum breakfast debate slated 26th September 2014.

Mr. Joel said that promotion of ethical conduct in business is essential to reducing unscrupulous behavior such as overbilling, under billing, inducing tips and bribes for contracts and tenders.

It was counseled that when discussing accountability issues in Tanzania, stakeholders should not overlook the positive role of the private sector in enhancing good governance. Companies, in fact, have business incentives to ensure that they conduct their operations and make profit in an ethical way. This view echoes others across the globe like Elaine Dezenski, of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative, who are making a business case ethical conduct as corruption is now seen as a one of the main obstacle to continued economic growth.

“The private sector has a major role to play in promoting accountability and in mentoring youth, they should not be considered merely as assistants to the government in this regard,” said Alice Mwiru, Programme Officer of ALI East Africa Foundation during the event.

However, it was also brought to the audience’s attention that doing business in Tanzania is challenging as there is a lot of bureaucracy stagnating growth of companies.

For instance, a participant complained that foreign companies are given incentives such Tax exemptions to attract them to Tanzania but wondered why the government cannot do the same to its small business people to allow them to grow.

The discussant of the event, Prof. Humphrey Moshi, a Lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam suggested that moral behaviors needed to be instilled at all levels in our society starting from the family level.

During the plenary discussion, it was suggested that the government should review the Public Procurement Act of 2004 to make ensure that it promotes ethical principles for business to operate.

Note:
ALI East Africa Foundation was launched in June 2002 as an East African focused initiative and is inresponce to the crisis of leadership that we have aimed at mentoring leaders to be accountable.