Doing business with integrity is good for business

Access practical support for companies to help prevent bribery and corruption when doing business in emerging markets

The Business Integrity Initiative (BII) is a joint initiative of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) that is being run by the British Business Association of Kenya / British Chamber of Commerce of Kenya (BBAK-BCCK). It is mainly targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because smaller businesses tend to be more vulnerable to bribery and corruption abroad, face specific challenges when exporting and need tailored support.

The current service offer to businesses is managed by the Business Integrity Hub (bih@dfid.gov.uk), which consists of 2 civil servants based in DFID London:
  • Online guidance for exporters highlighting integrity risks to be aware of when doing business abroad and signposting to resources
  • Business Integrity Consultancy Service - up to 5 days of match-funded, tailored guidance from a consultant on topics ranging from compliance with the law, prevention and risk mitigation, to collective action and human rights
  • Market and sector specific guidance for Kenya, Pakistan and Mexico - delivered through three country pilots to test how Her Majesty Government (HMG) can effectively deliver business integrity support through UK missions (March 2019 to March 2020) read more.

The principal objectives of the project are to:
  • Provide international companies looking to do or currently doing business in Kenya with practical information and guidance on navigating integrity challenges
  • Promote improvements to local market conditions through dialogue with Kenyan authorities based on the insights from businesses
  • Help companies to integrate best practices for managing integrity issues in Kenya into their strategies and operations
  • Establish evidence for what types of possible support are most beneficial for organizations interested in the Kenya market, which can be provided by the UK through the British High Commission in Kenya

The above objectives will be accomplished through the following activities:
  • A robust Peer-Peer Network
  • Business Integrity E-Learning Module 
  • Face to Face training
  • International Webinar 
  • Public-Private forum

In Kenya, corruption and patronage are listed as the first of four main barriers to development in the draft Country Development Diagnostic undertaken by DFID Kenya in close collaboration with other parts of the British High Commission and external partners:

“Corruption affects all areas of society: from poor health outcomes - as a result of mismanagement of funds; a barrier to investment and economic growth; and a justice system which struggles to remain independent and fails to deliver its core objectives. This is largely driven by a political system where there is patronage, and politicians seek to maintain power by rewarding their ethnic constituency in return for political support.”

In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness report 2018 (here), Kenya ranks 93 out of a total of 140 countries in terms of its ‘incidence of corruption’ score. 26.4% of firms experienced at least one bribe payment request in Kenya, compared with the average of 23.7% across Sub-Saharan Africa, and 16.7% of public transactions involved a request for a gift or informal payment.

A 2017 survey conducted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) involving over 3,000 international and Kenyan companies reveals further insightful statistics(find the survey report here):
  • In the last three years, 10% of businesses decided not to move ahead with an investment for five main reasons, of which number four is corruption (the others include economic or political uncertainty, business downturn, and high cost of production).
  • 10.3% report to always provide gifts or make irregular payments in business transactions. 
  • 13% report that these gifts or payments always account for up to 10% of their revenues.

A recent Corruption Risk Mapping Survey by KEPSA which covered 1201 businesses in Kenya in April 2019 (here) reports that corruption and bribery exist in both the public and private sector in varying degrees. President Uhuru Kenyatta declared corruption a national security threat in 2015 and said, “there will be no mercy for the thieves”. While previous state-led anti-corruption drives have been and gone (e.g. under President Mwai Kibaki), the high-profile focus (as evidenced by several speeches) presents a moment of opportunity for the UK government to support this agenda. This includes the return of proceeds of corruption in Kenya that end up in the UK, which under the agreement President Kenyatta signed with the UK’s Prime Minister in 2018, will be given back to the Kenyan people.

Based on demand from the private sector, the Kenyan Bribery Act was enacted in 2016, which explicitly states that bribery (even extra-territorial) is a crime. According to the 2017 EACC survey, 60% of firms are supportive of the President’s anti-corruption drive and believe that eliminating corruption would help them grow their businesses.

Important Links

Business Integrity E-Learning Module: coming soon
The training materials from the face to face training in October: coming soon


If you would like to find more about Business Integrity Initiative, kindly contact us on the details below:

Ms Anne Kimani
Pilot Manager
British Chamber of Commerce of Kenya
Email: businessintegrity@bcckenya.org


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