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Transparency International urges AU heads of state to adopt African anti-corruption convention

Approval of convention by AU heads of state would pave the way for an African instrument to combat bribery and help countries to live up to their NEPAD promises, says TI

"The clearest way African leaders can show their commitment to the New Partnership for Africa's Development is to adopt the African Union anti-corruption convention," said Peter Eigen, Chairman of Transparency International (TI), today. Speaking before AU heads of state converge on Maputo, Mozambique, on 9 July for the latest AU summit, he urged them to adopt the African Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption. TI is the leading non-governmental organisation fighting corruption around the world.

"Transparency International has been working in coalitions around the globe, calling on governments and institutions to be more accountable to their citizens," said Peter Eigen. "The first TI Global Corruption Barometer, released last week, surveyed 47 countries, including Nigeria, Cameroon and South Africa, revealing the urgent need for reforms in public sector institutions, notably the courts, the police and political parties. The AU convention will assist national governments in carrying out such reforms, and provide citizens with the confidence to insist that such reforms are implemented."

The African Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption was initially approved by the African Union's Ministerial Conference in Addis Ababa on 18-19 September 2002. It was later approved by the Executive Council in N'djamena, Chad, on 5-6 March, 2003. It is being presented to Heads of State for adoption at their meeting at this week's AU summit in Maputo, Mozambique.

The new Convention guarantees access to information and the participation of civil society and the media in monitoring that access. Other articles outlaw 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.

TI 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 representatives will be attending the Maputo Summit as observers, participating at the public sessions of the Executive Council.

For any press enquiries please contact

Akere T. Muna
Chairman, TI Cameroon
Tel: +237 992 5852

Babatunde Olugboji
Tel: +49-30-3438 2021