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Towards Enforcement of African Commitments Against Corruption

The Towards Enforcement of Africa’s Commitments against Corruption (TEA CAC) project aims to reduce corruption in Africa by supporting civil society actors in their efforts to monitor the implementation of the Africa Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC). This convention is a shared roadmap for member states to implement good governance and anti-corruption policies and systems. However, there is little information on how well the convention is implemented in practice.

What’s at stake?

The AUCPCC is a major instrument in tackling corruption in Africa and is unique among anti-corruption instruments as it contains provisions different from other anti-corruption standards. Articles include strengthening independent national anti-corruption authorities and whistleblower protection, declaration of assets by designated public officials and transparency in political party funding. It also highlights the need for the media to have access to information and the participation of civil society.

Even though the convention was adopted by the heads of state at the African Union Summit in 2003 and entered into force in 2006, corruption remains a major impediment to economic development and poverty reduction efforts in many African States. It perpetuates the paradox of a resource-rich continent, home to many of the world’s fastest growing economies, with some of the globe’s poorest populations. Africa continues to lose over 60 billion dollars annually through illicit financial outflows and bribery and corruption continue to limit African citizens’ access to basic services. Corruption remains a major barrier to economic growth, good governance and basic freedoms, such as freedom of speech and the right of citizens to hold governments to account.

More needs to be done to bridge the gap between the commitments embedded within the AUCPCC and their implementation.

What we’re doing about it

Ratification of the AUCPCC is just the first step, albeit an important one, on the journey towards a full implementation of the AUCPCC in all countries. The TEA CAC project supports chapters in assessing the state of implementation of the AUCPCC in their country. As a result, chapters are able to develop and action advocacy tactics to hold their respective governments accountable. In particular, the advocacy work focuses on commitments to enforcing the AUCPCC in four areas: money laundering, illicit enrichment, political party funding, and civil society and media. These areas are crucial to developing strong anti-corruption frameworks and preventing the loss of vast sums to corruption.

In this regard, TEA CAC strengthens anti-corruption efforts through:

  • Increased public awareness on the implementation status of anti-corruption commitments
  • Empowering CSOs and the media to effectively engage anti-corruption stakeholders at the African Union level
  • The capacities of civil society and the media to monitor the implementation of anti-corruption commitments and demand accountability

Our approach

Designed in 2018, the TEA CAC project is strategically aligned with Transparency International (TI)’s 2020 strategy: “Together against Corruption”. TEA CAC touches on all pillars of the TI strategy and is particularly rooted in strategic pillar 2: Prevention, Enforcement & Justice. The TEA CAC project is also well aligned with TI’s 2030 strategy: “Holding Power to Account”. Here, it is specifically rooted in objective 5 “Pursuing Enforcement and Justice” which focuses on the timeline implementation and enforcement of agreed standards and laws.

This constitutes the basis for the project’s approach: enforcing Africa’s commitments against corruption and justifies the focus on the region’s leading anti-corruption standard, the AUCPCC. It contributes to the AUCPCC implementation by supporting civil society actors in their monitoring and advocacy efforts.

Whereas each country comes with its own unique set of challenges in tackling corruption, all Transparency International chapters under the TEA CAC project have recorded significant successes stemming from their advocacy work.