29 November 2022 – The Samoa Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption (UN-PRAC) project, officially launched its Toolkit on Anti-Corruption for Women-Owned Businesses in Salelologa and Fagamalo, Savaii on November 22-23 and in Apia, Upolu on November 25.
The toolkit was an activity conducted by the Samoa Chamber of Commerce, in its efforts to raise awareness and promote businessintegrity in the private sector with a focus on women entrepreneurs. The toolkit was launched alongside the delivery of three workshops on anti-corruption for women entrepreneurs, held in Savaii and Upolu. The guide aims to assist business owners on how to protect their businesses against corruption, methods to detect and prevent acts of corruption, knowledge of the regulations and laws in Samoa, and which relevant Government ministries and agencies to approach for assistance.
These anti-corruption workshops were tailored for Samoan women business owners and women interested in addressing corruption risks in their own communities. Through these workshops, Samoan women entrepreneurs were able to share their experiences in strengthening internal business
control mechanisms, ethics and compliance in women-owned/managed businesses.
“As the National Private Sector Organization in Samoa, we want to lead by example and provide awareness and support for women entrepreneurs on how to protect their businesses from corruption. The dialogue exchanged at these workshops is very important so we can understand the challenges
faced by businesses and work together to find solutions,” said Lote Lima, Member Services Manager Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“Women’s empowerment and gender equality, including efforts to prevent corruption and promote business integrity in the Pacific, are vital to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. This ongoing initiative in Samoa is part of UNDP’s strong commitment to making gender equality a reality in the Pacific. This workshop is part of a series of integrity-strengthening efforts offering advice on how to protect businesses from corrupt practices that women entrepreneurs identified they were confronted with. Corruption can have a devastating impact on local businesses, particularly as businesses emerge from the challenges of COVID-19,” said Christina Mualia, Assistant Resident Representative – Governance and Poverty Reduction Unit, UNDP.
During the workshops, participants shared their challenges and experiences in detecting and addressing acts of corruption within their communities and business operations and discussed potential solutions. The workshop in Apia featured a panel session that included Osana Liki-Ward,
Assistant Chief Executive Officer, Public Service Commission and Maiava Eneleata Samau, Compliance Manager of FEXCO Samoa, who presented on anti-corruption measures set in place in the public and private sectors. This gave participants an opportunity to understand the regulations and laws in place in Samoa that address corruption and why it is vital to safeguard business operations from corruption.
These workshops are part of the Chamber’s work around anti-corruption, to raise awareness on corruption in the private sector. A total of eight workshops have been conducted since July 2021. The toolkit on Anti-corruption for Women-Owned Businesses is now available at the Samoa Chamber of Commerce’s office.