AfDB says fighting corruption and poverty in Africa go together

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Cutting corruption and reducing poverty in Africa go hand-in-hand, the African Development Bank (AfDB) maintained at an anti-corruption meeting recently in Namibia.

At the Ninth Southern Africa Forum Against Corruption (SAFAC) Annual General Meeting in Windhoek from 7 to 9 November 2011, Jacob Mukete, from the AfDB’s Governance, Economic and Financial Reforms Department, noted that the Bank’s efforts to reduce poverty in Africa could only yield fruitful results if corruption is reduced.

The meeting discussed mechanisms for strengthening the fight against corruption in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region through sharing best practices and experiences.

SAFAC is a regional body for Anti-Corruption Authorities (ACAs) in the southern Africa region.

The meeting was opened by the Namibian President,  Hifikepunye Pohamba,  of Namibia.  He noted that there was a growing need for SADC authorities to work together to gain momentum in fighting corruption and promote good governance.

He added that the meeting was in fulfillment of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) which makes it mandatory for state parties to share experiences and strengthen international cooperation.  

President Pohamba observed that for SADC to achieve its regional economic integration and sustainable development agendas, corruption should not be allowed to take root. He also applauded the AfDB for its continued support for the ACA’s anti-corruption campaigns.

The AfDB therefor has an interest in working with ACAs in fighting corruption. Fenwick Kamanga, senior governance expert in the AfDB’s Malawi field office, made a presentation on “Strengthening Integrity Systems in both the Public and Private Sectors as a Strategy in Preventing Corruption and Ensuring Good Governance in Africa”.

The chairperson of the African Union’s Advisory Board on Corruption, J. N. Onum-Nwariaku, also spoke on the AU’s role in preventing and combating corruption while the Peoples’ Republic of China made a presentation on “China’s Efforts to Combat Corruption and Strategies Put in Place in Strengthening Integrity Systems and Government”.

In order to strengthen the fight against corruption, delegates emphasized the need for the SADC Secretariat to create the Southern Africa Anti-Corruption Committee (SAACC) of State Parties.  Article 11 of the SADC Protocol Against Corruption, which came into force in 2005, establishes the SAACC as a body responsible for overseeing implementation of the Protocol.

SAFAC is a forerunner to the SAACC.  The meeting also noted the need for the five (out of 14) remaining SADC countries to ratify the protocol with a view to strengthening regional cooperation on preventing and combating corruption.

The Conference was attended by 11 SADC member states - Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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