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Open letter to African leaders: 157 CSO’s demand an end to corruption now!

H.E. Hon. Moussa Faki Mahama, Chairperson, African Union Commission
H.E. President Paul Kagame, Chairperson, African Union and President of the Republic of Rwanda
H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari, Champion of the 2018 AU theme and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Hon. Begoto Miarom, Chairperson, AU Advisory Board on Corruption

Dear Hon. Moussa Faki Mahama,

We welcome the African Union’s 2018 theme, Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation. It provides a critical opportunity to make progress in the fight against corruption and to mitigate its corrosive impacts on prosperity, growth, security and the fight against extreme poverty. We urge the African Union and Member States to seize this opportunity and deliver meaningful anti-corruption commitments at the July Summit.

The African Union’s focus on combating corruption comes at a critical juncture. African citizens consistently place corruption among their top concerns. Corruption among government officials and bureaucracies has increased over the last decade according to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance. The Panama Papers and other recent investigative leaks have exposed numerous flaws in anti-corruption regimes across the continent. The 2015 report issued by the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, led by former President Thabo Mbeki, estimated that more than US$50 billion illicitly flows out of the continent every year.

The AU’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, adopted in 2003, outlines a robust set of principles, including rooting out corruption, strengthening democratic principles, institutions, and the rule of law, and increasing transparency and accountability in the management of public affairs. Yet implementation of the Convention’s principles has been uneven and inadequate across the continent.

State effectiveness and legitimacy are critical for building African government systems that are responsive and accountable to the needs of their citizens. Yet these key ingredients of lasting development remain weak across the continent. Roughly half of the respondents to the most recent Afrobarometer survey report having little or no trust in legislative bodies, courts, police, national electoral commissions, and opposition parties. Roughly two-thirds believe their government is doing a poor job of improving the living standards of the poor and in fighting corruption. Nearly a third believe people fail to report corruption because they are afraid of the consequences.

Africa is at a critical tipping point. The continent’s population is expected to double by 2050, with half of those under the age of 25. An estimated 22.5 million Africans will enter the workforce each year. This poses an opportunity or risk to the continent, depending on whether African governments are able to harness the potential of their youth. The ability and willingness of governments to be responsive to their citizens and invest in measures that create lasting economic growth and development will determine Africa’s future.

To rebuild citizen trust in governments and to enable citizens and governments to work together to build a better future, citizens must be able to track budgets and follow the money from resources to results, and citizens, an independent media, and appropriate judicial and legislative checks and balances must be able to hold leaders accountable.

Meaningful steps toward making this vision a reality must be taken in 2018. It is imperative that concrete progress to combat corruption be made at the AU Heads of State Summit in July 2018. Vague or rhetorical promises to fight corruption will be insufficient to rebuild citizen trust in government and ensure that all Africans have equal opportunities to thrive.

We, the below signatories, call on the African Union and Members States to deliver an ambitious declaration at the 2018 July summit that includes concrete commitments to prevent further corruption, give credible anti-corruption bodies and law-enforcement agencies the arsenal needed to effectively combat corruption, and that ensure that citizens have the information necessary to restore confidence in government institutions.

We urge you to seize this opportunity to make progress in the fight against corruption. We stand ready to play an active and constructive role as you plan this important event.

Yours Sincerely,


Name of Organization Country
Plataforma pela Inclusão (Platform for Inclusion) Angola
Social Watch Benin Benin
Radio SU TII DERA FM de Nikki Benin
Caritas Benin Benin
Association pour la Promotion de l’Action Sociale et des Initiatives Communautaires (APASIC ONG) Benin
Botswana Centre for Public Integrity Botswana
Coalition Publiez ce que vous payez du Burkina Faso (Publish What You Pay) Burkina Faso
Association des droits de la femme Burundi
Terre des Jeunes du Burundi Burundi
ACPDH Burundi
Afroleadership CSO Cameroon
Human Is Right Cameroon Cameroon
Centre Régional Africain pour le Développement Endogène et Communautaire Medias (CRADEC) Cameroon Cameroon
Cellule Associative des Femmes Actives pour la Gouvernance, les Droits Humains et le Bien Etre (CAFAGB) Cameroon
Jeunesse Alternatives Cameroon
SIDS Youth AIMS Hub (SYAH) Cape Verde Cape Verde
Network of African Youths for Development (NAYD) Cape Verde Cape Verde
Congo Peace Network (CPN) DR Congo
Compagnon D’Action pour le Developpment Familial (CADF-NGO) DR Congo
Association d’Actions de Paix et de Développement Communautaire (APADEC) DR Congo
PACOPA (Partners Against Poverty) DR Congo
Collectif 24 DR Congo
Comite Des Droits De L’Homme et Developpement (CODHOD) DR Congo
Le Front pour le développement et la défense des droits humains (FDH) DR Congo
UN-NGO Major Group Africa Eastern Africa
International Youth Federation (IYF) in Ethiopia Ethiopia
Turning Point Africa Ethiopia
Brainforest Gabon
Gambia Participates/ Follow The Money Gambia Gambia
International Organization of Good Templars (IOGT) Gambia
Peace Aids International (PAI) Ghana
Abibiman Foundation Ghana
Caritas Ghana Ghana
Forum for Actions on Inclusion, Transparency and Harmony (FAITH) Ghana
Ghana Anti Corruption Network Ghana
Gender Centre for Empowering Development (GenCED) Ghana
Ghana Integrity Initiative Ghana
Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG) Ghana
Concern Development Program Kenya
Jamaa Resource Initiatives Kenya
Inuka Kenya Trust Kenya
Slums Information Development and Resource Centres [SIDAREC]/Follow The Money Kenya Kenya
Consumers Protection Association (CPA) Lesotho
Policy Analysis and Research Institute of Lesotho (PARIL) Lesotho
The Center for Media Studies and Peacebuilding (CEMSEP-Liberia) Liberia
Youth Network for Reform (YONER-LIBERIA) Liberia
Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) Liberia
Accountability Lab Liberia Liberia
Comité National d’Observation des Elections – Education des citoyens (KMF/CNOE) Madagascar
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation Malawi
Malawi Girl Guides Association (Magga) Malawi
Integrity Platform Malawi
Fondation pour le Développement au Sahel (FDS) Mali
Accountability Lab Mali Mali
Cercle de Réflexion et d’Information pour la consolidation de la démocratie au Mali (Cri-2002) Mali
Transparency Mauritius Mauritius
Centro de Integridade Pública (Centre for Public Health) Mozambique
Namibia Media Trust Namibia
Reseau des Organisations de Developpement et Associations de Defense de Droits de L’homme et de la Democratie (RODADDHD) Niger
JCI Hope Project Nigeria
BudgIT Nigeria Nigeria
CIRDDOC Nigeria Nigeria
Nigerian Women Agro Allied Farmers Association (NIWAAFA) Nigeria
Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication Nigeria
Tijah Bolton-Akpan Nigeria
Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism Nigeria
Accountability Lab Nigeria Nigeria
Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) Nigeria
Public and Private Development Centre Nigeria
Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) Nigeria
Excellent World Foundation Nigeria
Basic Foundation for Socio- Economic Development of Rural Women and Youth Nigeria
DigitalSENSE Africa Media Nigeria
Development & Integrity Intervention Goal Foundation Nigeria
Madam Moesillo Foundation Nigeria
Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) Nigeria
Hope Givers Initiative (HOG-) Nigeria
Health Education and Empowerment Initiative (HEDEN) Nigeria
Socio Economic Research and Development Centre (SERDEC) Nigeria
Kwannawa Youth initiative Nigeria
Network for Empowerment and Development Initiative (NEDIN) Nigeria
Peace Point Action Nigeria
The Best Education for Development Foundation Nigeria
Brain Builders International Nigeria
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC) Nigeria
21st Century Community Empowerment for Youth and Women Initiative Nigeria
Association for Progressive African Youth Nigeria
Murna Foundation Nigeria
Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development Nigeria
CAFSO-WRAG for Development Nigeria
The WhiZ Kid Concepts Nigeria
League for Human Rights (LHR) Nigeria
Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation Nigeria
Nigeria Alcohol Prevention Youth Initiative (NAPYI) Nigeria
Active Support for Rural People Initiative (ASURPI) Nigeria
Women United for Economic Empowerment Nigeria
Dynamic Youth Development Organization Nigeria
Women’s Initiative for Self-Actualization Nigeria
Basic Rights Watch Nigeria
Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD Nigeria
Justice, Development and Peace Caritas (JDPC) Awka Nigeria
Integrated Anti-Human Trafficking and Community Development Initiative
(INTACOM Africa)
Shalom Vineyard Initiative Nigeria
Water of Life Foundation Nigeria
Better Community Life Initiative (BECOLIN) Nigeria
SuccezGuide Nigeria
Global Health Awareness Research Foundation Nigeria
Connected Development (CODE) Nigeria
Ijaw Visionary Movement (Member of CIND) Nigeria
Blue Cross Organization of Nigeria Nigeria
Akin Fadeyi Foundation Nigeria
Network of African Cyberactivists and Bloggers for Democracy – AFRICTIVISTES Pan African
ONE in Africa Pan African
Tax Justice Network – Africa Pan-African
Association Guinéenne pour la Transparence (AGT) République de Guinée
Campagne Publiez ce que vous payez Congo République du CONGO
Rencontre pour la Paix et les Droits de l’Homme – RPDH République du CONGO
Never Again Rwanda Rwanda
Réseau Siggil Jigéen Senegal
Reseau Jeunesse Population et Developpement du Senegal (RESOPOPDEV) Senegal
Article 19 West Africa Senegal
Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) Sierra Leone
World Merit Sierra Leone Sierra Leone
Foundation for Rural and Urban Transformation (FoRUT) Sierra Leone
ChildHelp Sierra Leone Sierra Leone
Direct Response Development Organisation – DR Sierra Leone
Youth Empowerment Solutions (YESO ) Somalia
Bilan Awdal Organization Somalia
Somali Youth Civic Organization (SYCO) Somalia
Open Democracy Advice Centre South Africa
The FoI Programme at the South African History Archive South Africa
Groundwork/Friends of the Earth South Africa
Christian Spiritual Youth Ministry (CSYM HUDUMA) Tanzania
MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation (MS TCDC) Tanzania
Highland Press/TZ Business News Tanzania
Ligue des Consommateurs du Togo (LCT) Togo
Association Welfare Togo
Les Amis de la Terre-Togo Togo
Africa Youth Movement Tunisia
L’Association Tunisienne de Droit du Développement Tunisia
Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) Uganda
Anti Corruption Coalition Uganda Uganda
African Youth Development Link (AYDL) Uganda
Regional Centre for International Development Corporation (RCIDC) Uganda
The Nile Basin Discourse (NBD) Uganda
Solidarity Uganda Uganda
Transparency International Uganda Uganda
Kick Corruption Out of Uganda (KICK-U) Uganda
The Human Rights Network Uganda (HURINET-U) Uganda
Uganda Road Sector Support Initiative (URSSI) Uganda
Uganda Management Assistance Programme (UMAP) Uganda
Citizens Platform for Democracy and Accountability Uganda
Community Transformation Foundation Network (COTFONE) Uganda
West African Alcohol Policy Alliance (WAAPA) West Africa
Transparency International Zambia Zambia
Action Aid Zambia Zambia
Centre for Natural Resource Governance Zimbabwe