May 25 of every year is observed as African Union Day. It is a day set aside to commemorate the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was later replaced by the African Union (AU). The theme for this year’s celebration is “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.”
Corruption in Africa, as observed by the 2016 African Governance Report IV, is one of the major impediments to structural transformation on the continent. The report identifies weak governance structure and institutions as one of the main determinants of corruption on the continent and thus threatening prospects for positive outcomes of transformation.
According to the 2018 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International, African countries are among the top ten most corrupt countries in the world with Somalia leading in the ranking. The index suggests a direct correlation between the abject levels of poverty and the high prevalence of corruption.
This reality is a flagrant contradiction with the ideals espoused in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG). The Charter as a road map for the promotion of good governance on the continent enjoins State Parties to institutionalise good economic and corporate governance through the prevention and combating of corruption and related offences among other things (Article 33 Clause 3).
As the continent marks AU day today, the 14-member consortium of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working to create awareness and empower citizens to demand for implementation of the ACDEG calls on governments on the continentto prioritise the implementation of the ACDEG as part of efforts to ensure good governance.
The consortium also urges the media in Africa to join the crusade in creating awareness and popularising the ACDEG among African citizens to empower them to demand good governance practices on the continent.
The 14-member consortium of CSOs is made up of ActionAid Ghana, ActionAid Nigeria, ActionAid Sierra Leone, ActionAid Zambia, ActionAid Zimbabwe, ActionAid Tanzania, ActionAid Uganda, ActionAid Mozambique, ActionAid Denmark, Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI), West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), East African Civil Society Organizations’ Forum (EACSOF) and SADC Council of Non-Governmental Organisation (SADC – CNGO). The project, ‘Mobilizing Civil Society Support for Implementation of the African Governance Architecture’ is being implemented with funding support from the European Commission.