African Leaders meet in Addis Ababa for the African Development Week, AU-ECA Conference of Ministers to discuss Towards an Integrated and Coherent Approach to Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs held in Ethiopia.
Some of the key objectives of the meeting include the engagement of various disciplines for a development framework in advancing the Agenda 2063 at the continent level and the SDGs of 2030 at the global level, in so doing AU-ECA has set out to define national visions, identify targets, revise sector plans, build strong institutions for implementation of development value chains and make commitments to both the Agenda 2063 and 2030 of the SDGs for a continent level impact.
As part of the talks, one major issue discussed was the issue of ‘Measuring corruption in Africa: the international dimension matters’.
Corruption, defined as the abuse of public office for private gain through embezzlement, fraud, bribery and money laundering is widely seen today as a threat to effective public management. The African Union Convention on preventing and combating corruption also recognizes the devastating effects of corruption on the political, economic, social and cultural stability of African States.
The High Level Panel on IFF has highlighted that, about $50 billion a year is lost through Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) and this can facilitate developmental projects in education, health and infrastructure. Illicit Financial Flows deals with money that is illegally acquired, transferred or spent across borders such as corruption, bribery and theft by government officials, criminal activities, drug trading, human trafficking, illegal arms sales and tax evasion.This is one area ActionAid International seeks to ensure governments develop and enforce fair and transparent rules on corporate taxation through its Tax Justice Campaigns.
The dialogue focused on how an international dimension matters on measuring corruption in Africa and the need for a multi dimension definition of what corruption entails. The existence of a survey bias towards some countries against others that discredits corruption measurements was brought to light during a side event at the conference.
The discussion highlighted that corruption is an internationally shared responsibility, it was hence binding on all actors in the international community to take it serious and take action in reducing the incidence if not eliminate the menace entirely.
Steps need to be taken to move beyond present indicators to assess corruption within a broader African and global context. In so doing, economic institutions need capacity development so that they can fight corruption and deal with the evils it has brought in its wake.
Offering recommendations, participants mentioned that local industries must be developed to match foreign firms so that corruption cases that deal with IFFs will be curtailed. Also, countries have been encouraged to use learning by practice approach on public sector issues in the fight against corruption.
In addition, we need strong legal frameworks that will tackle corruption at the roots in addition to supporting organisations like ActionAid international in the fight against IFFs through the Tax Justice campaigns.
In my opinion, the major responsibility lies on individual countries in implementing the solutions suggested at the AU-ECA level since the dialogue on corruption is one that has been sustained for decades. We need citizens who demand accountability and a strong radical political leadership to address the root causes of corruption and get rid of it as it is ripping the country off its budgetary needs, dragging the growth pace of our economies, widening the income disparity gap and worsening the plight of the number of people living in poverty by the second.
Photo Credit: Facebook
©Daniel Nii Ankrah
with support from ActionAid Tax Power Campaign