Eighteen senior government officials from Afghanistan will receive anti-corruption training in Singapore through an international aid package.
A report last week by Channel News Asia said the week-long training program is part of a $1 million technical assistance package that Singapore pledged at the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan.
The training seminar will be hosted by the Singapore Civil Service College. It will include visits to Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau and Supreme Court. Two professors from Japan’s Meiji University will also be on the faculty.
We’ve said before that foreign aid can cause corruption, mainly by helping corrupt regimes stay in power. And because corrupt regimes are the most unstable, aid also fuels civil unrest. But aid in the form of anti-corruption training can create real change.
Singapore is well qualified to help Afghanistan’s civil servants fight corruption. It ranked at the top of the latest Corruption Perceptions Index, joining Denmark and New Zealand as the least corrupt countries on earth. Afghanistan ranks just two spots from the bottom, at 176.
Singapore’s transfer of technical assistance to fight corruption makes loads of sense. Let’s hope the idea spreads beyond Kabul.