The African Union (AU) during its 30th Assembly of Heads of State and Government in January 2018 launched 2018 as the African Anti-Corruption Year. This follows the declaration made at the 29th Assembly of the Heads of State and Government in January 2017. The Summit was held under the theme: “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”.
Under the leadership of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC), the African Union, its organs, Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Civil Society Organizations together with citizens (women, men and young people alike) will embark on a journey to address the urgent need to curb corruption which is a major societal flaw causing setbacks in the socio-economic and political development of the continent. Corruption continues to hamper efforts aimed at promoting democratic governance, socio-economic transformation, peace and security, and the enjoyment of human rights in the AU Member States.
Why declare 2018 the African year of Anti-Corruption
- Corruption continues to hamper negatively efforts aimed at promoting democratic governance, socio-economic transformation, peace and security in Member States. The AU Member States, RECs and the AU have undertaken various commendable regulatory instruments and established different institutions to combat corruption in Africa; the challenge however remains commitment to institutional approach to combating corruption in one hand and bridging the gap between norm-setting and norm-implementation through appropriate policies at local, national, regional and continental levels at the other hands. If corruption is not dealt with in Africa, the Africa Agenda 2063 and its first ten years action plan, the 2030 global plan for sustainable development, and the Vision 2020 on silencing the Guns may not yield the expected results.
- Fifteen (15) years after the adoption of the AUCPCC, 2018 provides a good opportunity to take stock on progress made so far, assess what still needs to be done and devise new strategies that appropriately address new corruption challenges.
- While the continent has seen sustained socio-economic growth over the past two decades, public confidence has been corroded by a concentration on near-term priorities and payoffs, propelled by corruption, election-cycle politics or quarterly results targets that too often leave young people worse off than their parents. Rather than looking towards a sustainable future that works for everyone, many have been left with a sense of desperation about the ideals of progress, technology, trade, and globalization because of the prominence and inequality fostered by Corruption.
- Through the continuous mobilisation of the African people and the diaspora, there increasingly is people’s ownership and mobilisation against corruption. However, social acceptance / tolerance of corruption is still very high. It is for this reason that declaring 2018 the African Anti-corruption Year is an opportunity to inspire everyone to embrace innovative and impactful anti-corruption tools and approaches that are currently in place.
- The declaration of 2018 as the African Anti-corruption Year, with the theme: Winning the fight against corruption, a sustainable path to Africa’s transformation, will provide further opportunity to consolidate the gains already made over the years, ensure better cooperation and mutual legal assistance, and secure stronger international cooperation in dealing with corruption.