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Transparency International urges AU governments to approve draft African anti-corruption Convention

Approval of draft Convention by the AU Executive Council on 5-6 March would pave the way for an African instrument to prevent and combat graft and help countries to live up to their NEPAD promises, says anti-corruption organisation

Transparency International, the world's leading anti-corruption organisation, and its national chapters in Africa today urged AU ministers to approve the draft African Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.

"This convention introduces new and innovative concepts that are at the cutting edge of jurisprudence and practical strategies for preventing and combating corruption," said Akere Muna, Chairman of TI Cameroon. Speaking ahead of the 2nd Ordinary Meeting of the Executive Council of the African Union in Ndjamena, Chad (5-6 March), he said: "It is a positive sign that the draft Convention is on the agenda of the Executive Council meeting." He continued: "If AU countries approve the draft, it will bring them closer to fulfilling the commitment they made to fighting corruption under the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)."

The Draft African Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption was approved by the African Union's Ministerial Conference in Addis Ababa on 18-19 September 2002. Should the Convention be approved in Ndjamena this week by the Executive Council, it will be presented to heads of state for adoption at the next AU summit in July 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique.

The new Convention guarantees access to information and the participation of civil society and the media in monitoring it. Other articles seek to ban the use of funds acquired through illicit and corrupt practices to finance political parties and require state parties to adopt legislative measures to facilitate the repatriation of the proceeds of corruption.

Transparency International commends the African Union for allowing the participation of civil society, including TI chapter representatives, in the drafting and deliberation of the Convention. In the drafting phase, TI made recommendations on access to information, funding of political parties, repatriation of stolen assets, and the involvement of civil society in the monitoring process. TI national chapters in Africa will now lobby for its adoption and speedy ratification.


For any press enquiries please contact

Yaounde:
Akere T. Muna
Chairman, TI Cameroon
Mobile: +237 992 5852
Email: munalaw@camnet.cm

Berlin:
Ms Jana Kotalik
Press Officer, TI Secretariat
Tel: +49-30-3438 2061
Email: press@transparency.org