The AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption: Winning or Loosing the Fight

The African Union adopted the Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption in Africa on 1st July, 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique. The Convention entered into force on 5th August, 2006 and has been ratified by 38th Member States (as at 2017). However, the implementation of the Convention, like many others instruments remains a challenge.

The African Union declared 2018 as the African Anti–Corruption Year, with theme is “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation” estimating that 25 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of African countries is lost to corruption annually with 5 percent of these resources lost through illegitimate financial flows. 65% of the outflows are drawn from commercial activity by multinationals and 30% from criminal activities. In addition, the High–Level Panel Report on Illicit financial flows estimated that Africa is losing more than $50 billion every year as governments and multinational companies engage in criminal activities aimed at avoiding tax payments, hindering development projects and denying poor people access to essential services. Dealing with corruption and cutting illegal financial flows will result in Africa retaining capital made on the continent and use those resources to finance the continent’s development agenda as represented in the African Union’s Agenda 2063 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.

Corruption is a complex phenomenon that is rooted in a range of political, economic and social power relations. Corruption is therefore not simply about individual benefit and private gain but involves broader interests and gains accrued from political and economic systems. It is a characteristic of wider unequal economic and political governance measures that allow a few to benefit at the expense of many.

The African Union’s Advisory Board on Corruption (AUABC) is the emanation of the AU Convention on Combating and Preventing Corruption (AUCPCC) and it was created on 26th May 2009 under Article 22 (1) of The Convention. This Organ bases its work on the provisions of this legal instrument and in this regard, it is the unique continental organization mandated by the African Union to deal with corruption and related themes in Africa. In a bid to engage the civil society representatives on such an important continental discussion, the October, 2018 session of the NGOs Forum will focus on the issue of Corruption. The discussions will assist in exploring the potential of greater alliance building and broader networking by CSOs and existing AU organs in order to register stronger results that are viable and sustainable in combatting corruption in Africa. Additionally, the ground breaking Call to Action Document which called for 10 transformational interventions by state and non-state actors will be showcased and discussed.

The Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the Ordinary Sessions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Commission), also known as the ‘NGOs Forum’ is an advocacy platform coordinated by the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies to promote advocacy, lobbying and networking among and between human rights NGOs, for the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa. The bi-annual event, which precedes the Ordinary Session of the ACHPR, is an advocacy platform for discussing human rights issues in Africa with a view of identifying possible strategies for engagement or redress, which are forwarded to the African Commission as contribution to its work during a said Session. The NGOs Forum shares updates on the human rights situation in Africa by the African and international NGOs community with a view of identifying responses as well as adopting strategies towards improving the human rights situation on the continent.


The objective of the NGOs Forum is mainly to foster closer collaboration between and among NGOs and with the African Commission and other African human rights mechanisms, for the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights in Africa.

The general content of the Forum will cover three (3) main thematic areas namely:

Status of Human Rights and Democracy in Africa

(update from sub-regional Focal Points on the general situation of human rights in Africa, with a focus on corruption)

Special Interest Groups Discussions

(Kindly note that the list is not extensive, new interest group is welcome)

Networking for Human Rights in Africa

(sharing of experiences, best practices and lessons learnt on the impact of corruption on the continent) A series of panel discussions on general human rights related issues will be organized within the main agenda of the NGOs Forum as well as at side events, and even extending to the margins of the Ordinary Session.


English and French are the languages of the NGOs Forum with available simultaneous interpretation facilities.


Representatives from African civil society/NGOs, international NGOs from Africa and beyond working on youth, democracy, human rights and the rule of law issues, academia, media, etc.

Expected Outcomes

  • Adoption of Recommendations and Resolutions to be forwarded to the African Commission for its consideration during the 63rd Ordinary Session
  • The review of the implementation of the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (challenges and way forward)
  • NGOs Statement at the official opening of the 63rd Ordinary Session (highlighting deliberations of the NGOs Forum)
  • Presentation of alternative reports on the situation of human rights in countries (Angola, Botswana, Egypt, Togo) whose states reports are to be examined during the said Session
  • Networking, advocacy and lobbying opportunity at different levels


Participants are encouraged to make the necessary visa arrangements, where required, before departing from their respective countries to The Gambia. Where participants do not have Gambia Diplomatic Representation in their countries of residence, the ACDHRS would endeavor to facilitate the issuance of visa on arrival to such participants, provided the ACDHRS is informed well in advance and provided with the requisite information to facilitate the process.


The African Centre would distribute negotiated room rates to participants.


All participants are to pay the registration fee of $150.00 (one hundred and fifty United States Dollars) or its equivalent in Gambian Dalasis, Euros or CFA. The said amount contributes to expenses in relation to the conference package (conference room, tea and coffee breaks, lunch, water, projector, interpretation equipment, Interpreters salary, translation, documentation, stationery and other administrative logistics/support) provided during the Forum only.

Furthermore, note that the said amount should be paid by ALL participants in cash at the registration desk.


Kindly complete the panel request form online as detailed as possible on or before Saturday, 15th September, 2018. Please note that the African Centre is not obliged to receive and process panel requests received after the deadline. Partners are required to contribute the amount US$300.00 (three hundred US Dollars) for all approved requests as their contribution towards the organization of the NGOs Forum.

Please note that for panel requests to be considered by the Steering Committee of the NGOs Forum, all request must be framed around the theme of the Forum.

Administrative Fees for side events:

Partners that wish to organise side events and require the assistance of the African Centre should please note that an administrative fee of US$500.00 (five hundred US Dollars) must be paid to the African Centre by the said Partner.