Gaborone, Botswana, 21 June 2018 (ECA) – The national Anti-Corruption institutions in Southern Africa have been called upon to put on full armors and take independent stand in the fight against corruption, as the monster of corruption appears to be unconquerable and demonstrating the tendency of fighting back, even in the countries that could be considered as winning the fight.
The appeal was made today by Leopold Auguste Ngomo, African Union Regional Delegate to Southern Africa, at the official opening of the Consultative Meeting of National Anti-Corruption Institutions in Southern Africa. He observed that weak governance breeds corruption, which has become costly and a major obstruction to economic transformation in Africa.
“The corrupt people ceased to be Africans and they don’t care about the impact of their practice on the lives of our people. They are our enemies who are well organised and well-connected at regional and continental level. The battlefield is our countries, our region and the entire continent,” said Ngomo, appealing for concerted efforts from member states.
For his part, Said Adejumobi, Economic Commission for Africa’s (ECA) Regional Director for Southern Africa, said the region has to move from theory to practice by enhancing the capacity of National Anti-corruption Institutions through adequate resourcing, sharing experiences, promoting good practices, and collective effort from all stakeholders in combating corruption.
Meanwhile, presenting a background paper to the consultative meeting, Prof. Andre Mangu of Faculty of Law at the University of South Africa said corruption knows no borders and has become an international crime that needs a joint hand to defeat it. “Given the nature of this “monster” or “Leviathan”, no country will ever win the fight alone”, he said.
Speaking at the same event, African Union Advisory Board on Corruption Board Member, Sabina Seja said corruption has a devastating impact on marginalized communities especially the youth, women, and children. “It is especially impactful on the youth as it deprives future generations of opportunities to develop meaningful livelihoods”, she said. Seja stressed that corruption distorts the distribution of social services such as health, water, sanitation and education, breeds unequal societies, renders vulnerable groups prone to human trafficking, irregular migration, recruitment into armed groups and militia as well as other forms of violent extremism.
The consultative meeting has jointly been organized by the African Union Southern Africa Regional Office (AU-SARO), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Southern Africa Office (UNECA-SRO-SA) and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime of Botswana to allow the national corruption bodies share experiences, lessons, and challenges; discuss anti-corruption strategies, and the way forward, and establish a network of national anti-corruption institutions in Southern Africa through which the capacity of those institutions can be enhanced and better performance promoted.
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 5826