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Transparency International welcomes draft African convention against corruption

The draft convention agreed today by African Union ministers is a positive step for the continent, says anti-corruption watchdog

Transparency International and its national chapters in Africa welcomed the approval, by the African Union's Ministerial Conference held in Addis Ababa on 18-19 September 2002, of the Draft African Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.

"This convention introduces extremely innovative and new concepts that are at the cutting-edge of jurisprudence and practical strategies for preventing and combating corruption," said Kumbirai Hodzi, Vice-Chairman of TI Zimbabwe, speaking from the conference.

TI is particularly pleased to note that this new convention contains provisions that should guarantee access to information and the participation of civil society and the media in the monitoring process.

Also noteworthy is Article 10, which seeks to ban the use of funds acquired through illicit and corrupt practices to finance political parties; and Article 7(C) which requires state parties to adopt legislative measures to facilitate the repatriation of the proceeds of corruption.

"The drafting of this Convention is a promising sign that AU governments are serious in their commitment to curb corruption," said TI Chairman Peter Eigen. "But it is essential that governments commit themselves to formal monitoring of their implementation of the Convention. As with the new United Nations instrument currently being drafted, the proof will be in its implementation," he said.

Transparency International would like to commend the African Union for allowing the participation of civil society, including TI chapter representatives, in the drafting and deliberation of the convention. Recommendations from TI taken into account included input 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.

The convention will now be presented to heads of state for adoption at the next AU summit in June 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique.


For any press enquiries please contact

HARARE:
Kumbirai Hodzi
Vice-Chairman, TI Zimbabwe
Tel: +263 4 3032 11
Email: hodzi@telco.co.zw

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

Berlin:
Jana Kotalik, TI Press Officer
Tel: +49-30-3438 2061
Fax: +49-30-3470 3912
press@transparency.org