The African Union declared 2018 the year of combating corruption in Africa. Chairperson of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC), the Honorable Bégoto Miarom, revealed that 40 African countries have already signed the convention on anti-corruption. They are now collectively looking to implement strategies and share information that can be effective across the continent.
Miarom cited a few examples of how progress is already being made. “Rwanda has started the work in prevention of corruption and Ghana also followed, they have both shown improvement,” said Miarom, adding, “anti-corruption agencies must be given independence and resources and if these continue showing effectiveness in Rwanda and Ghana then the AUABC can recommend them to other countries.”
“The forest was shrinking and the trees kept voting for the axe because its handle was made of wood so they thought it was one of them,” said Hannu Shipena, permanent secretary for the anti-corruption commission in Namibia, quoting a fiction book he had read. Shipena said that Africa needs to choose their leaders wisely as he believes one of the main reasons corruption thrives on the continent is because of poor leadership.
He also believes that African countries depend too much on the judiciary when it comes to corruption cases, adding that taking corruption cases to court wastes a lot of time and state resources.
“We can learn a lot from the Nordic countries. When someone is accused of the slightest corruption they will easily resign, but on our continent when someone is accused they will fight and take the issue to court and it will drag on forever.”
Africa ranks lowest among global regions in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), a ranking of 180 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. Countries in Africa average 32 out of 100 in their CPI scores, with 0 meaning “highly corrupt” and 100 meaning “very clean.”