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Africa : good governance, a weapon against corruption and social crises

More than 1 trillion dollars in bribes are paid each year in developed and developing countries. These figures from the World Bank illustrate the seriousness of corruption. In an attempt to reduce this phenomenon, a high-level conference on promoting good governance and fighting corruption was held in Gaborone, Botswana, from 13 to 14 June 2022. The aim was for African leaders to discuss how to harness the benefits of good governance to improve growth opportunities, create jobs, reduce poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Help building consensus on the critical macroeconomic impacts of poor governance and corruption, to reaffirm the commitment of African governments to prioritize anti-corruption and good governance reforms, and to identify the pillars of an action plan to promote governance in Africa, including during crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic. These objectives, among others, are part of the priorities of an African Union concerned with strengthening good governance in its member states.

We continue evaluating progress in fighting corruption and have made several changes to legislation and adopted best practices, specifically the Zimbabwe anti-corruption Commission which was reconstituted and capacitated to better deliver on its mandate as outlined in our national constitution.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe

Only six of the 54 African countries ranked on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) scored above 50/100. This is a sign that corruption continues to reign on the continent, not least in the management of the health crisis caused by covid-19. The African Union is providing support to its members to recover from the economic losses inflicted by the covid-19 pandemic, estimated by the AfDB at 12% of the continent’s GDP in 2021, and to build resilience through better governance.

Collaborative efforts that bring together the public sector, the business sector, civil society and the media are necessary to effectively fight corruption on the continent. The African Union Advisory Board on Corruption, AUABC, is committed to exploring, together with the private sector, modalities for effective engagement in the fight against corruption in Africa because together, we can, and we will defeat corruption.

Samuel Kimeu, Executive Director of the Africa’s Voices Foundation

According to the United Nations, investing in a relatively corrupt country can cost up to 20% more than in a non-corrupt country. In the African Union process, digitalisation and big data are seen as tools to promote transparency and ethical behavior. These reduce fragility and pave the way for a sustainable transformation for Africa. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, it is important to tackle corruption. 

The fight against corruption remains a serious and complex challenge on the continent. Networks of corruption are becoming more and more sophisticated, permeating all sections of our society. The need to build strong and robust institutions to ensure that all our assets and natural resources benefit the majority rather than lie in the pockets of a few remains paramount and urgent.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe

Corruption and the transfer of illicit funds contribute to capital flight in Africa, where over $400 billion has been diverted and sheltered abroad. The Gaborone conference provided a platform for the African Union Commission and the IMF to present their approaches to engaging with member countries on governance; sharing ideas based on their long experience of assisting member countries on governance and corruption issues, particularly through significant institutional capacity development.