As heads of governments and heads of state head to Addis Ababa this weekend for the 30th session of the African Union Summit, discussions around the theme of corruption are taking center stage.
The United Nations Economic Commission set the discussion rolling with a tweet saying ‘corruption has held Africa back for far too long and it’s time to nip it in the bud’.
The commissioner also applauded the African Union for ‘choosing corruption as its 2018 battle cry’.
The theme for this year’s summit is ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’.
In his opening remarks, the African Union Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat told the delegates that this year’s summit will deliberate on mechanisms for combating corruption, as a means of transforming Africa.
He also hinted on the efforts that are being taken by African states to fully finance the African Union as agreed in 2015, in addition to implementation of the Single African Sky.
‘‘The year 2018 is called to be the year of the battle against corruption and crucial decisions will be taken here whose highlight is institutional reform”, the chairperson said.
African heads of state will be joining the rest of the delegates on January 28th and 29th where Guinea’s Alpha Conde will officially hand over as African Union chairperson to Rwanda’s Paul Kagame.
A 2016 Corruption Watch report indicated that the most prevalent types of corruption reported in the continent over the past few years center on abuse of power, followed by bribery and then procurement corruption.
Economic Commission for Africa says every year over $148 billion are drained out of the continent through various corrupt activities, representing about 25 percent of Africa’s GDP growth.