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African Anti-Corruption Day: Transparency International calls on African Union leaders to act on anti-corruption commitments

Open letter highlights the need for urgent anti-corruption action to guarantee basic rights

On African Anti-Corruption Day and the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption (AUCPCC), Transparency International calls on leaders of the African Union (AU) to stay true to their anti-corruption commitments and take concerted actions to end corruption in the region.

Through a letter signed by 28 of its chapters across Africa, Transparency International highlighted the need to accelerate strategies to effectively tackle illicit financial flows, guarantee corruption-free delivery of basic services to African citizens, and progress toward the complete ratification and implementation of the Convention.

The letter highlighted the positive developments to curb trade-related illicit financial flows, including the establishment of the Sub-Committee on Tax and Illicit Financial Flows. However, it also urged State parties to establish central, verified, public beneficial ownership registers and called for stronger regional mechanisms to facilitate tracking cross-border corruption for investigation and prosecution, in line with global standards.

It further emphasised the need to curb corrupt practices – which exacerbate inequalities and violate the fundamental rights of already marginalised communities – in basic service delivery and land management systems by strengthening whistleblower protection and the justice systems. Finally, it highlighted the need for harmonised tax reforms to increase the resources available for Africa’s development agenda.

While the near-universal ratification by African States of the AUCPCC is commendable, the letter concludes by calling attention to the need to incorporate it at the national level and implement its provisions fully.

Read the full letter in English and French.

Fabrice K. Ebeh, Executive Director of Transparency International-Togo, said:

“The adoption by African leaders of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption two decades ago showed a resolute commitment to curb corruption in the region. Today, in a time and region where the interplay between democracy, security and development holds significant importance, it now becomes urgent for them to transform these commitments into resolute actions to eliminate corruption. By doing so, they can safeguard the fundamental rights of the African people.”

Notes to editors:

  • More than one in four people across Africa paid a bribe to access public services, according to the largest and most detailed survey on citizens’ direct experiences of corruption, the Global Corruption Barometer.

For more information, please contact:

Paul Banoba, Transparency International

Samuel Kaninda, Transparency International

Transparency International Secretariat