Every 11th of July, following the ratification and adoption by the African Union member states in Maputo, Mozambique in 2003, the continent has been marking the Africa Anti-Corruption Day. The adoption of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) represents a continental-wide effort to harmonize the fight against corruption.
This year’s anniversary provides a unique opportunity for stakeholders to reflect on the journey of 20 years of commitments, negligence, and develop a roadmap for the next decade in order to address the continent’s numerous challenges that are largely a byproduct of corruption.
Indeed, the theme: “African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption 20 years After: Achievements and Prospects” is a call for anti-corruption crusaders across the continent to critically examine how efforts at combating corruption has been, and evolve measures to mitigate occurrences of corruption, so as to build a prosperous Africa.
On this auspicious African Anti-Corruption Day, it’s also important to highlight the fact that corruption has taken a global dimension that requires the cooperation and partnership of stakeholders. The rise of transnational organized crimes for instance is a result of the interconnectivity of players, hence, the need for governments and stakeholders to work together in order to break the chain.
The Center’s data driven programs for instance is developed to explore and adopt effective strategies in tackling corruption. As we strengthen the implementation of the AUCPCC for a unified approach to the fight against corruption in the continent, urgent attention must also be paid to countering the rise of organized crime. This is especially because reports suggest that Africa, with its deep-seated corruption and “resource curse,” is mostly at the receiving side; as it’s estimated that the continent lose US$89 billion each year in illicit financial flows alone, according to the United Nations.
May we be reminded that, as we make progress on legislation and enforcement, there is need to focus on preventive measures. The Center’s Transparency and Integrity Index (TII), which drew some of its assessment variables from the AUCPCC and the UNCAC, among other international instrument, is evolving as a game changer for promoting principle of proactive disclosure in government businesses in Nigeria. Consequently, we are pleased to share with players about our effort to mainstream the index as a tool for measuring public sector transparency, and compliance with national and international laws and commitments that promotes openness and accountability in the continent with the presentation of the TII Africa, with Liberia leading the drive in the continent.
It is worth noting that Nigeria’s review of the implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) points to the need to strengthen preventive measures, hence, the Center is calling on anti-corruption stakeholders in the continent to harmonize efforts and focus attention at promoting values of transparency and accountability in governance.
Happy Africa Anti-Corruption Day 2023!
Image source: Africa Union