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African leaders need to set example with strong tone against corruption

Addis Ababa
26 Jan, 2018

Addis Ababa/Harare, 26 Jan. 2018 (ACBF) – African leaders have to be at the forefront of the fight against corruption, by setting examples that show they have a strong position against the ill, Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie, Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), has stated.

Speaking with journalists covering the 30th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, the ACBF Executive Secretary also said that African leaders can show strong leadership prioritising the fight against corruption.

“The advice that we would be giving to the African member States of the AU and ACBF is that they should make sure they prioritise the fight against corruption among many other things,” Prof. Nnadozie said.

To that end, he emphasized that the fight against corruption is not just about the enforcement and making sure the justice system implements laws, it is also about changing mindsets through various mechanisms. Leadership and setting example are also extremely important, he added.

“A head of state himself or herself would need to be ‘the anti-corruption commander in chief’  because they have to set the tone at the top that corruption is unacceptable. They also have to be incorruptible themselves so that they would be in a good position to succeed in the campaign,” Prof. Nnadozie elaborated. 

The ACBF delegation led by Prof. Nnadozie is also engaging various stakeholders on the sidelines of the summit focusing on the importance of capacity development, a core specialisation of the Foundation.

Th 30th African Union (AU) Summit is underway at the Headquarters of the Union in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on the theme “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.”.      

ACBF maintains that effectively fighting corruption will help Africa  to optimize  investment in the skills revolution that will facilitate its accelerated and sustainable transformation through a successful implementation of national development plans, Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The theme for this year’s summit resonates very well with the four pillars of the ACBF Strategy for the period 2017-2021, which are to: 1) enable effective delivery of continental development priorities; 2) support countries to achieve tangible development results; 3) enhance private sector and civil society contribution to sustainable development; and, 4) leverage knowledge and learning to increase development effectiveness.

Among the several evidence-based policy and capacity development guidelines ACBF has developed at the behest of the AU and its member States, is the report titled ‘Institutional Frameworks for addressing Public Sector Corruption in Africa’ which examines how much state institutions created to stamp out corruption across various African countries have actually achieved. It gives pointers as to how to tackle corruption to accelerate the implementation of development plans. The study acknowledges the huge difficulties corruption-fighting bodies in sampled countries have faced in their mandates of reversing the dangerous practices of corruption and recommends out-of-the-box tools to address the challenge.

Ways of eradicating corruption, the Report notes, include: reducing opportunities for officials to act corruptly by cutting back on their discretionary authority; enhancing accountability by strengthening mechanisms for monitoring and punishment; increasing competitiveness in the economy in order to reduce incentives for corrupt behavior; and stopping interference by state authorities in determining market prices, which can be a conduit for bribery with the private sector.  The document also identifies the empowerment of civil society and reforming the political environment to make it more competitive, as other ways of reducing the incidence of corruption in Africa to make way for seamless public and private sector delivery towards transformation.

“The Summit’s theme which centers on effectively fighting corruption to guarantee Africa’s transformation is very pertinent and timely to keep the continent on a path to achieving tangible results in the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs, thus making Africa’s transformation a reality,” said Prof Emmanuel Nnadozie, Executive Secretary of ACBF, ahead of the gathering.

“For a long time, the discussion around fighting corruption to enhance policy implementation and service delivery in Africa has been centered around behavior and mentality change alone, whereas the evidence on the field shows serious gaps in the capacity of institutions called upon to fight corruption to undertake their daunting tasks in a wholistic and results-based manner,” he added.

Prof Nnadozie said ACBF would be bringing fresh sets of perspectives on capacity to tackle corruption by proposing mechanisms to coordinate the work of such institutions alongside frameworks for economic and political competitiveness, judicial effectiveness and transformative leadership, among others.

In the context of the Summit, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) is also working with the African Union Commission (AUC) to establish a solid legal instrument to optimize its status as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development to deliver programs and advisory services that are of maximum benefit to the continent. Such an instrument will strengthen coordination between the Foundation, the AUC and other continental bodies to deliver timely development and capacity advice/services to all AU member States. This will help avoid duplication and optimize services for member States to plug the gaps in their plans toward accelerated transformation and sustainable development.




For more information, please contact:

Abel Akara Ticha – Senior Communication Officer 
The African Capacity Building Foundation
Harare, Zimbabwe
+263 7+263-4 304663, 304622, 332002, 332014; Ext. 279


ABOUT the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)

Having spearheaded and robustly coordinated capacity development programs worth over 700 million US dollars across 45 countries and 8 regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa since 1991, ACBF has gathered the requisite experience that makes it the go-to institution for expert knowledge and human resources to advise and support African countries, regional economic communities and institutions on decisive steps to take to develop the practical skills urgently required for the continent’s economic transformation.

Evidence from our cutting-edge work (constituting hundreds of knowledge publications) and the work of several partners show that Africa's development efforts are being hobbled by severe capacity deficits often in the form of shortage of critical skills, deficits in leadership, inhibiting mindsets and weak institutions. The continent’s practical skills shortage is acute in key areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Agriculture.

At ACBF, we will continue using our unmatched track record in managing financial facilities for development, our vast knowledge gathering experience thanks to the exceptional skills mix of our core staff as well as our strong strategic partnerships and networks to help countries and institutions identify their capacity needs, advise them on how to plug these capacity weaknesses and on where to find the knowledge and resources to develop the requisite capacity resources, effectively use them and retain them to achieve their short and long-term development objectives.

ACBF’s vision is an Africa capable of achieving its own development.

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Thomas Kwesi Quartey

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.

H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission
Erastus Mwencha

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board
Lamin Momodou

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa
Goodall Gondwe

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, former Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi
Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure.

Hon Ken Ofori Atta, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance - Ghana