All Africa Conference of Churches Statement: Anti-Corruption Day

All Africa Conference of Churches Statement: Anti-Corruption Day

From the All Africa Conference of Churches

The AACC joins the people of Africa in commemorating Anti-Corruption Day. On the 11th of July, 2003, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption (AUCPCC) was adopted on the 11th of July, 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique, and came into force in 2006. Thus, today, we take a moment to reflect on the impact of corruption on our society and the effectiveness of our collective efforts in preventing and combatting it.

The AUCPCC represents a regional consensus on what African states should do in the areas of prevention, criminalization, international cooperation, and asset recovery. It calls for the eradication of corruption in the private and public sectors. The AUCPCC covers a wide range of offenses including bribery (domestic or foreign), diversion of property by public officials, trading in influence, illicit enrichment, and money laundering among other forms of corruption.

The AACC recognizes the AUCPCC as an important step in the right direction in addressing the impact of corruption. Corruption undermines transparency and accountability in the management of public affairs thereby affecting the social and economic development of the African people. Decisions are taken not for the public benefit but to serve private interests which cause human suffering and deprivation. Corruption further leads to misdirection of development, violation of human rights, increased indebtedness, and widening of the gap between the poor and rich.

While the AACC acknowledges the various efforts made by the AU and other key stakeholders to prevent and combat corruption at national and continental levels, it remains concerned about the prevalence of corruption in our African society. The continent continues to lose a lot of resources through systematic corruption.

The AACC thus, calls for:
• The AU to encourage member states to participate in its peer review mechanisms initiatives.
• More deliberate actions at the country level to ensure that corrupt leaders are named and shamed.
• African governments to uphold and implement the principles of separation of powers as enshrined in their constitutions to support the independence of the judiciary and of the anti-corruption commissions, including the Auditor General’s offices.
• Moral and ethical responsibility by individuals and institutions to shun corrupt practices in society.
• The national law enforcement agents to execute their constitutional duties without fear or favor as they respond to corruption cases.
• African governments to embrace and collaborate with civil society organizations and the media who are working against corruption. There is a need to create laws and a safe environment to protect investigative journalists, whistle-blowers, and activists who are involved in fighting corruption.
• Our faith leaders to cultivate a culture of transparency and accountability through openly speaking against corruption at all available formal and informal platforms.

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much (Luke 16:10)