Australia Awards Alumnus, Eddie Howe, is one of the leaders in the fight against corruption in Liberia, following Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s 2006 proclamation that corruption would be public enemy number one.
“If Liberia is to progress any further, it is now that we, as future leaders, need to take meaningful steps in augmenting the President’s fight against corruption,” explains Eddie, who completed an Australia Awards – Africa Fellowship at the University of Sydney in 2012.
Liberia was ranked 91 out of the 183 countries with a score of 3.2 in the 2011 Corruption Perception Index. This is a significant improvement from the 2005 rank of 137 out of the 158 and a score of 2.2.
Eddie credits the Australia Awards – Africa Fellowship, which focussed on the management of revenue in the mining industry, with fuelling his commitment to fight corruption head on. Since returning to Liberia, Eddie has organised workshops that aim to foster constructive debates within the Ministry of Finance on the dangers of corruption.
More recently, through his work, Eddie has been able to generate US$21 million of savings to the country through the application of the transfer pricing knowledge he acquired while on the Fellowship.
“My understanding of the political environment and revenue management is now greater than ever before,” reflected Eddie.
“It has helped me realise that I have a great responsibility to the development of my country. If I had not gone to Australia, I would never have understood the dangers of corruption and the dynamics of transfer pricing, ” he said.
It is the commitment and dedication of Alumni such as Eddie, along with government-led anti-corruption measures, that are paving the way towards a corruption-free Liberia.