ICIJ nominated for WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award for anti-corruption

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), has been nominated among five finalists in this year’s WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award. This year’s theme for the award is anti-corruption, a press release from the organisers copied to ghanabusinessnews.com, has said.

The ICIJ has earlier this year been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

According to the release, the jury spent the past few months seeking nominations from individuals and organisations that actively combat corruption, actions, they say will improve the opportunities for the world’s countries to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The five were shortlisted from 64 nominations from 34 countries.

The other nominees are Jóhannes Stefánsson, the Icelandic whistleblower who revealed ‘The Fishrot Files’; the corruption scandal with roots in Iceland and Namibia; Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA), a non-profit organisation in Afghanistan that works to shed light on corruption through revelations, surveillance and advocacy; Nicola Gratteri, the lead prosecutor in Italy’s largest anti-mafia trial, overseeing the prosecution of over 350 people with alleged links to the southern Italian mafia organisation ‘Ndrangheta, and Hamzat Lawal, a Nigerian anti-corruption activist and co-founder of the organisation, Connected Development and the Follow the Money initiative.

Citing OECD, the World Bank and IMF figures, the organisers say $4 trillion is lost every year to corruption, an enormous figure, which can be compared with the $2.9 trillion that is the financial gap that needs to be filled in order to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

The jury will present the final winner with prize money worth one million Swedish kroner, approximately a little over $117,000.

The organisers stated the reasons for the nominations.

Jóhannes Stefánsson: The jury nominates Stefánsson for his courage to speak up and leave his post as leader of the fishing company Samherji’s operations in Namibia in protest against the corrupt methods his company engaged in to ensure access to fishing quotas. The act shows the importance of individuals in the business world who have the courage to take a stand against abuse of power and corruption.

Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA): The jury nominates Integrity Watch Afghanistan for its range of efforts to systematically combat corruption, such as the mobilisation of local volunteers to monitor government projects, in the dangerous and corrupt country of Afghanistan.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ): The jury nominates ICIJ for their work in highlighting international money laundering and publishing stories such as The Panama Papers and China’s detention camps for the Muslim minority group Uighurs. ICIJ contributes to strengthening the journalist corps as an important social group in the fight against corruption by working together and making the individual journalist less vulnerable.

Nicola Gratteri: The jury nominates Gratteri for his determination to put the safety of the collective before his own while being forced to live under constant threats of reprisals from the criminal syndicates he has set out to fight. Gratteri’s story shows the importance of countries having well-functioning formal institutions that are taken seriously and used correctly.

Hamzat Lawal: The jury nominates Hamzat Lawal for his tireless commitment to strengthening local civil society and for his large-scale campaigns which have succeeded in creating transparency about public spending and ensuring that international aid funds end up where they should.

“The calculations of how much money disappears in decision-makers’ pockets is just the tip of the iceberg. The societal costs of corruption are enormous and they have a major impact on our ability to achieve both economic, ecological and social sustainability. Anti-corruption is a matter for us all and therefore we are very happy to be able to draw attention to prominent individuals and organisations in the area,” says jury chairperson Emma Dalväg.

The organisers say the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award aims to recognise and support outstanding contributions from around the world for the benefit of humans, the planet and the common future. This year’s winner of the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award will be announced on April 21, the say.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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