“Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”

“The African Union (AU) during its 30th Assembly of Heads of State and Government holding from 22 – 29 January 2018 in its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will launch 2018 as the African Anti-Corruption Year with a theme “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation”. The AUC Chairperson underlined that, a theme such as the “fight against corruption” raises huge expectations, which cannot be dashed “The commission will do everything in its power to support the implementation of the decisions that will be adopted on this matter”

Under the leadership of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC), the African Union, its organs, Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Civil Society Organizations together with citizens (women, men and young people alike) will embark on a journey to address the urgent need to curb corruption which is a major societal flaw causing setbacks in the socio-economic and political development of the continent. Corruption continues to hamper efforts aimed at promoting democratic governance, socio-economic transformation, peace and security, and the enjoyment of human rights in the AU Member States.

While the continent has seen sustained socio-economic growth over the past two decades, public confidence has been corroded by a concentration on near-term priorities and payoffs, propelled by corruption, election-cycle politics or quarterly results targets that too often leave young people worse off than their parents. Rather than looking towards a sustainable future that works for everyone, many have been left with a sense of desperation about the ideals of progress, technology, trade, and globalization because of the prominence and inequality fostered by corruption.

Fifteen (15) years after the adoption of the AUCPCC, the declaring of 2018 as the Anti-Corruption Year and its subsequent launch provides a good opportunity to take stock on progress made so far, assess what still needs to be done and devise new strategies that appropriately address new corruption challenges.”

Having heard the intensive dedication and commitment from the horse’s mouth to eradicate corruption from Africa, it’s now primarily up to states to overtake the responsibility. This however, does not mean states solely take on the responsibility to tackle such a huge thematic area in Africa like corruption on their own, instead it requires the coming together of different actors like NGO’s and CSO’s to overcome corruption. The fact that the year 2018 is dedicated as an anti-corruption year by the AU, paves the way for so many CSO’s engaged in this area like Transparency Ethiopia not only to form partnership with the government, but also with the African union, to work on different projects involving different government and non government bodies to bring an effective result on the topic at hand.  The involvement, support and dedication of an international organization like the AU make the battle against corruption less cumbersome and fruitful.    

As it was clearly pointed out by The AUC Chairperson, the primary responsibility is that of the States. So, states should take the upper hand and take necessary measures in their respective countries to fulfill the responsibility bestowed upon them by the international community. These measures could be formulating or adopting new laws to enhance their judiciary and closely working in cooperation with different CSO’s and creating a good working environment for them. This can be achieved by considering CSO’s and revising any legislation that hinder any nongovernmental organizations engaged in this regard.