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Hannu Shipena

Anti-Corruption Commission in Namibia
Permanent Secretary
Hannu Shipena has been serving as permanent secretary for the Anti-Corruption Commission in Namibia since October 2016. The Anti-Corruption Commission is a State agency established by law to combat and prevent corruption in Namibia. In his role, Mr Shipena ensures operational efficiency of the Commission through provisioning of human, financial and material resources as well as the management of such resources.

He studied history and philosophy at the University of the North (now University of Limpopo in South Africa) and later history and international interdependence in the 19th century Southern Africa at both the School of Oriental and African Studies and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London.
He previously served as deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education in Namibia where he led key administrative and financial education portfolios. In the mid 2000’s he oversaw the land reform programme in the capacity of land management and land reform under-secretary in the Ministry of Land Reform in Namibia.

Mr Shipena keenly believes ethical leadership to be the answer to governance issues facing Africa. Laws are necessary to help catch the corrupt, but in themselves they do not prevent corruption. Whilst swift and uncompromising implementation of laws goes a long way in the prevention of corruption, it is ethical leadership that has now become a necessary condition to overcoming Africa’s governance challenges. Leadership should be a core issue in the choice of leaders. Africa requires leadership that is directed by respect for ethical beliefs and values and for the dignity and respect of others. Africa should eliminate thieves, liars and tyrants from the list of potential leaders. A leader’s internal compass sets the national course and pace in the fight against corruption. One reads the nation’s position on corruption from the leader’s action or inaction.

Another key ingredient necessary for bridging the gap between promises and action is: holding leaders to account. An ethical leader accounts for the promises he made. At international level, it is high time that regional, continental and international bodies hold members states to account for the undertakings they made. A key question to national leaders at international conferences should always be: did you deliver on your promises, and if not why? Otherwise there is no need to keep meeting and repeat promises already made.