Anti-corruption 1

Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) & Anti-corruption Agencies (ACA) gather to conquer corruption in Africa

Corruption continues to have a profoundly detrimental impact on Africa, impeding the continent’s socio-economic development and undermining governance systems. Corruption diverts precious resources away from essential public services, such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure, perpetuating cycles of poverty and inequality. It discourages foreign investment and economic growth, hindering the potential for sustainable development. Moreover, corrupt practices within governmental institutions erode public trust and confidence, exacerbating political instability and undermining democratic processes.

From 16 to 18 April 2024, AFROSAI-E, in a collaborative effort with Control Risk, Financial Services Volunteer Corps, Good Governance Africa, and The Global Fund, hosted the annual Seminar for Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) and Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACA) in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Anti-corruption Seminar theme was Conquering Corruption in Africa and aimed to create awareness and propose actions on how SAIs can contribute to state anti-corruption efforts.

This 2024 Seminar, building on the previous year’s theme, The Role of SAIs and Institutionalised Good Governance in State Anti-corruption Efforts, presented an expert analysis of emerging corruption trends and recent developments within the anti-corruption policy space. It facilitated dialogue and knowledge sharing among diverse stakeholders, enhanced anti-corruption strategies, and fostered sustainable partnerships and practical initiatives to bolster the fight against corruption at all levels, instilling hope for a more transparent and accountable future.

Participants from a diverse range of SAIs, Anti-Corruption Agencies and stakeholders from across the continent attended. Some of the notable key speakers included Justice Richard Goldstone, a former Constitutional Court Judge in South Africa; Jabu Phakathi, the director of the Eswatini Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC); Robert Mwanyumba from Transparency International; Sarah Hamouda from African Peer Review Mechanism, and Kim Robinson from Renaissance Strategic Solutions.

Key outcomes from the Seminar

Working research paper: Perspectives of the public sector and anti-corruption agents regarding corruption over the last decade, while public sector organisations continue to operate as a going concern.

Under the principles of its MoU with the Tshwane University of Technology, AFROSAI-E is working on a research paper to add to the regional initiatives that seek to understand, fight and combat corruption. This qualitative study aims to obtain the perspectives of the public sector and anti-corruption agents regarding corruption over the last decade, while the public sector organisations continue to operate as a going concern.

The study aims to collect recommendations that can be implemented to combat corruption by influencing the various corruption-related attractors and repellers in the public sector environment.

The results of this study will inform subsequent research that will benefit the public sector, SAIs and anti-corruption agencies. We encourage SAIs to click on the link below to participate in the data collection process.

The Anti-Money Laundering Audit

According to the 2020 UN Report on Tackling Illicit Financial Flows for Sustainable Development in Africa, the continent loses nearly $89 billion annually due to IFFs, surpassing the amount received in development aid.

Addressing IFFs requires international commitments, such as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These call for reducing illicit financial flows, corruption, and bribery while strengthening institutions and domestic resource mobilisation. Money laundering plays a significant role in IFFs, involving the concealment of illegally obtained funds within legitimate economic activities to make them appear legal. Effective anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures are necessary to prevent illicit funds from circulating through the financial system.

In collaboration with the GIZ Good Financial Governance programme and the Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA), AFROSAI-E launched an Anti-money Laundering Performance Audit with the SAIs of Sierra Leone, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia participating. This regional project aims to further improve the quality of performance auditing activities in anti-money laundering, strengthen the collaboration between SAIs and the Financial Action Task Force, and further build capacity and share knowledge in the region. The audits will be specifically designed and developed for a selected anti-money laundering performance audit topic per SAI.

The high-level kick-off meeting with the project partners will take place from 8 to 9 July 2024. 

AFROSAI-E Anti-Corruption Toolkit

Several anti-corruption efforts are in place at the state level in various countries, with players at the national level working to fight corruption. However, the role of SAIs remains unclear, resulting in an audit expectation gap concerning SAI audits responding to corruption. AFROSAI-E developed an Anti-corruption Toolkit to help SAI auditors identify corruption when auditing government institutions. It suggests elements for a comprehensive national anti-corruption strategy, which can also assist governments in sharpening anti-corruption initiatives. The toolkit provides an inventory of measures SAI auditors can use to assess and identify the nature and extent of corruption and report on it.

Progress on resolutions

AFROSAI-E presented a resolution tracker progress report to provide a clear overview of the milestones, stages, steps, and actions to implement the 2023 SAI-ACA Anti-Corruption Seminar resolutions. The input from stakeholders and the comments from the 2024 Seminar will be incorporated to improve and sharpen the 2023 resolutions.

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