Ethiopia to sign up to CoST

By Richard High14 January 2009

Ethiopia is finalizing preparations to sign up to the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative (CoST), according to the Commissioner of the Federal Ethics and Anticorruption Commission of Ethiopia (FEACC), Ali Suleyman.

Making the announcement, the Commissioner said Ethiopia will run a two-year pilot phase, which is designed to reduce corruption and enhance the effectiveness of public sector infrastructure projects.

In a statement on the CoSt website Mr Suleyman said, "Well-managed public sector infrastructure projects could make a major contribution to economic growth and poverty reduction. New infrastructure and buildings of all kinds are vital to improving public services and peoples' livelihoods.

"Billions of dollars of public money, often in the form of long-term loans, are being invested in infrastructure year on year globally. Mismanagement and corruption during planning, implementation and monitoring of construction projects could undermine the expected social and economic benefits of these investments.

"Ethiopia is spending billions of birr on infrastructure development and that makes the need to protect the construction sector from corruption even more important and urgent."

Ethiopia's pilot phase will test a multi-stakeholder approach to increasing transparency and accountability in the delivery of construction projects. It is expected that the release of key project information will lead to better quality infrastructure and better value for money, helping economic growth and reducing poverty.

Ethiopia would be fully committed to implementing CoST's programmes and ensuring transparency and accountability in the public construction sector in collaboration and partnership with the other member countries, said the Commissioner.

The Commissioner said that the Government, the construction sector and civil society would work together to improve the efficiency, quality, and cost of public sector construction projects in Ethiopia and internationally.

CoSt is supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented in partnership with the World Bank, with an international secretariat providing ongoing support to all pilot countries.

CoST aims to promote increased transparency and accountability in publicly financed construction projects around the world. Information on construction projects will be put in the public domain to promote good quality, sustainable infrastructure at a reasonable price, to reduce corruption and to promote responsible management of public finances.

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