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Stopping impunity for corruption through enhanced accountability (SICEA)

Photo: Arthimedes / Shutterstock

About this project and key facts

Governments across Sub-Saharan Africa have expressed a keen interest to address corruption. So far, 47 out of 55 African countries have ratified the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC). As required by the Convention, countries have established national anti-corruption laws and institutions and most have a dedicated government agency responsible for fighting against corruption. Despite these developments, according to TI's Global Corruption Barometer Africa 2019, 59% of respondents said their governments did a bad job of tackling corruption.

One of the biggest threats to progress is grand corruption –systemic corruption involving high-level public officials and vast sums of money, often accompanied by gross human rights violations. And yet impunity has been the norm, rather than the exception.

With the important task of remaining an independent last check to drive accountability, civil society actors in Sub-Saharan Africa continue to face challenges with respect to utilizing international accountability mechanisms and effectively advocating for anti-corruption reforms to reduce impunity for corrupt actors. This project aims at responding to these challenges through two main objectives:

  1. Enable civil society in Africa to more effectively engage with relevant independent accountability mechanisms;
  2. Facilitate and strengthen national and regional advocacy efforts to promote anti-corruption reforms in Africa.

The total budget for the SICEA project is around EUR 1,300,000. The project implementation schedule runs from September 30, 2022 to March 31, 2025 (30 months).

What’s at stake?

Grand corruption continues to give elites loopholes to act with impunity, siphoning money away from the African continent and depriving the people in Africa of their rights and resources.

The African continent continues to suffer critical outflows of its resources through illicit financial flows estimated at US $89 billion a year, reducing the ability of governments to provide basic services and protect the human rights of its people. In 2021, the Pandora Papers investigations exposed nearly 50 politicians and at least five current or former heads of state from the continent as abusing the global financial system and secretly moving their wealth offshore.

Effective accountability mechanisms and anti-corruption reforms to reduce impunity for actors are critical to limiting grand corruption.

What are we doing about it?

Transparency International (TI) builds on its existing Chapters (independent locally based civil society actors) in Sub-Saharan Africa that are part of the TI Movement to deliver this project. Working with 11 Chapters and other CSOs, the project enables civil society in Sub-Saharan Africa to engage with relevant legal accountability mechanisms and strengthen their advocacy efforts to advance anti-corruption reform more effectively.

Our approach is based on three pillars:

  • Legal capacity building by delivering training and 1-1 technical and legal support to civil society organisations for their preparation of legal case submissions on cross-border corruption to independent accountability mechanisms.
  • Research to monitor the progress of anti-corruption reform and implementation of legal provisions. The research findings will equip the relevant institutions with the necessary evidence to initiate targeted policy and institutional reforms to address the identified shortcomings.
  • Regional advocacy: strengthening a community of practice of anti-corruption practitioners who hold duty bearers to account for and influence policy and legislative reforms by leveraging evidence from the research findings and recommendations from the regional reports provide the basis for multi-stakeholder policy dialogue among anti-corruption stakeholders in Africa.

Main activities

  • Training on legal accountability mechanisms and evidentiary standards for CSOs.
  • Technical assistance for preparing and filing legal submissions for CSOs.
  • Grants for legal case work (for CSOs in Sub-Saharan Africa).
  • Collecting and compiling prosecuted a set of corruption cases in a database.
  • Documenting the implementation status of regional and international anti-corruption instruments with regards to access to information.
  • Producing policy briefing and communication materials calling on access to information and anti-corruption reform.
  • Advocacy training for CSOs.
  • Organizing advocacy events at regional and international governance/anti-corruption forums.
  • Facilitating advocacy learning exchanges among CSOs.