Samoa Young entrepreneurs unite against corruption

APIA, Samoa - October 5, 2021: 10.22am (SAMOA OBSERVER): Young entrepreneurs from Savai’i have met to explore means of promoting business ethics and establishing controls to fight corruption and ensure their businesses' compliance with the law.

The workshop was part of a series of integrity-strengthening efforts led by the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Samoa Multi-Country Office (MCO).

A statement issued by the UNDP, said the project was a joint initiative by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji.

The Assistant Resident Representative (Governance) of the UNDP Samoa MCO, Christina Mualia, said corruption can have a devastating impact on local businesses and the training gives businesses the tools to protect themselves from corrupt practices that new and old entrepreneurs reported encountering.

The project is also supported by the New Zealand Government.

According to UNDP Anti-Corruption Adviser Sonja Stefanovska-Trajanoska, corruption hinders entrepreneurship and innovation.

“In this training, we are opening an important dialogue with existing and potential young entrepreneurs in Samoa on how they can do business with integrity,” she said.

“Opting for clear values and strong ethics can only raise the impact of their businesses in the market and bring more investors.”

Samoa’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the county’s UNDP office; Samoa MCO and UN-PRAC have already worked together to produce a Business Integrity Toolkit for Young Entrepreneurs. The toolkit was developed after consultations with local young entrepreneurs on safeguarding their businesses against corruption risks.

The UNODC Anti-Corruption Adviser Marie Pegie Cauchois said the workshop’s practical effects were highly important.

“This youth entrepreneurs workshop offers practical guidance on what constitutes corruption in Samoa, what laws and institutions are used to prevent and fight corruption, and who you can ask for help,” she said.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lemauga Hobart Vaai, said they were happy to be collaborating with the United Nations.

“Young entrepreneurs already contribute positively to the community, but they can play a key role in tackling corruption and building business integrity as the country strengthens its economy and tackles COVID-19," Lemauga said in a statement.

“[The Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry] is delighted to be collaborating with UN-PRAC and the UNDP Samoa MCO to create awareness on early detection and prevention of toxic conditions like corruption.”

The workshop was held last week in Savai’i. It will be held in Upolu during the second week of October....PACNEWS

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