Unofficial taxation and rent-seeking impose additional costs on doing business and are among the principal constraints that impede trade and economic growth in Mali. While the country has adopted many laws and regulations that govern trade corridors and seek to reduce opportunities for corruption, they are not always aligned or properly enforced.
Under the USAID-funded Mali Justice Program: Reducing Corruption along Mali’s Trade Corridors, we work to strengthen enforcement of laws and regulations, improve compliance of road governance with regional and international standards, increase monitoring and reporting of rent-seeking behaviors with effective follow-up actions, and increase citizen awareness of their rights and recourses.
Building self-reliance is now a critical focus. We mobilized several business associations to form a platform to advocate for reduced corruption and harassment in the Sikasso region trade corridor. The platform helped to establish a so-called “Watch Cell” – mobile groups of volunteers to monitor inspection processes along trade corridors and to provide legal support to the victims of harassment.
Our advocacy efforts were bolstered by public service announcements with the slogan “No payment without receipt!” and engaged the public through radio, social media and local performances. We have also crowd-sourced reporting of bribery incidents, engagement of the mass media and enhanced oversight through citizen review boards.
MSI has implemented effective long-term anti-corruption projects in over 40 countries. Our thought leadership includes the design of the USAID’s Anti-Corruption Strategy and Corruption Assessment methodology, as well as a meta-analysis of the impacts of USAID anti-corruption programs over the past 20 years, and developing USAID’s Practitioner’s Guide for Anti-Corruption Programming.