Six months ago, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption came into being with the aim to deal with the crippling impact of corruption on the continent’s image. Wednesday the second meeting of national anti-corruption bodies opened in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Julia Dolly Joiner is the African Union’s Commissioner for political affairs. She said the purpose of the meeting is to come up with an African position on corruption.
“South Africa will be hosting the global forum on corruption in April this year, and it was felt that we should bring African stake holders together under the joint auspices of the government of South Africa, the African Union, and the Economic Commission for Africa to evolve an African position on corruption which will be tabled before the global meeting taking place in April,” she said.
Six months ago, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption came into being to deal with the crippling impact of corruption on the continent’s image. Joiner said it is too early to say whether African governments are in compliant with the protocols of the AU Convention on corruption.
“In terms of compliance, I think it’s too early to start passing judgment on that. What I can say is that it is encouraging that 17 member states have adhered to the convention by ratifying it. And what we would want to say is to appeal to the other member states that have not yet done so to ratify the convention and illustrate their commitment,” Joiner said.
The African Union acknowledged that corruption undermines the socio-economic development of the continent. Joiner said the continent has taken the first steps in dealing with corruption.
“The challenges may be numerous, but I think for us to collectively adopt a convention on corruption is an encouragement. So what I see as a challenge is for member states to ratify the convention and domestic its provisions in their national laws, and that would go a long way in curbing the threat of corruption in the continent,” she said.
Joiner said Africa is not the only continent with endemic corruption problems.
“I don’t subscribe to the idea of stereotyping or stigmatizing Africa. Africa is not the only continent that has corruption. I think corruption is worldwide. In fact, that is why we have this global effort, which the global forum is trying to address. Africa, through the convention, this is our own contribution in curbing corruption. I think it is encouraging that leaders and stakeholders have decided to pay attention to this menace, which, like I said, and I repeat is universal. It’s not endemic only in Africa,” Joiner said.