Kenya joined the rest of Africa to commemorate the 5th African Anti-Corruption Day which is observed on 11th July of each year. The theme for this year’s commemorations was “Regional Economic Communities: Critical Actors in The Implementation of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.”
The day was set aside by the African Union in recognition of the vast progress that has been made since African countries adopted the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) in Maputo, Mozambique on 11th July 2003, which came into force in 2006. To date, the Convention has been ratified by over 44 member states of the African Union, Kenya included.
Since adoption of the Convention, African states have made significant efforts in the fight against corruption including the establishment of national laws and the creation of anti-corruption agencies. It is in view of this that the African Union designated 11th July as the African Anti-Corruption Day.
The day provides a platform to highlight the importance of synergies and stronger collaboration between the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and all anti-corruption stakeholders in the fight against corruption in the African continent as espoused by the AUCPCC.
In Kenya, the celebrations were spearheaded by the Kenya Leadership Integrity Forum (KLIF). The forum brings together various stakeholders in the fight against corruption to implement the Kenya Integrity Plan (KIP). The plan spells out the role of each sector in enhancing integrity and delivery on the anti-corruption agenda in the country. The forum is chaired by the Attorney General while the secretariat is hosted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
The forum works through both state and non-state actors, including: the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary, County Governments, Labour, Anti-Corruption Agencies, Enforcement, Watchdog Agencies, Media, Private Sector, Professional Bodies, Education, Civil Society, Religious Organizations, Constitutional Commissions, Development Partners, Transport, Regional and Sub-regional bodies, Regulatory Boards and the Financial Services sector.
The overall objective of African Anti-Corruption Day is to give prominence to the fight against corruption and to reflect on the different approaches to end corruption since the adoption of the AUCPCC as a mechanism for fighting corruption in Africa. The specific objectives include: fostering regional, continental and international cooperation to prevent corrupt practices; reflecting on how to deepen the engagement on anti-corruption interventions and highlighting the importance of synergies and stronger collaboration between the African Union, the Regional Economic Communities and State Parties as well as key stakeholders on the anti-corruption landscape.
Due to Covid-19 protocol restrictions, this year’s event was commemorated virtually, with audiences being reached through interactive social media and mass media forums.
Corruption is a vice that knows no borders or nations, and continues to be of concern in many African countries. Corrupt activities such as money laundering and they use of offshore accounts to hide ill-gotten wealth, take place across borders hence the need for regional collaborations.