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Heads of State at the 31st African Union Summit have committed themselves to chart a new path aimed at permanently eradicating corruption on the African continent.
Speaking to the media after the closing session of the summit held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, under the theme “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation,” the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said, “African leaders have concluded that corruption on the continent is pure thievery on the part of all who engage in it. To that end, a comprehensive policy to arrest the phenomenon is the only way forward.”
President Akufo Addo at AU Summit
According to the Foreign Affairs Minister, President Akufo-Addo, when he took his turn to speak during the plenary session, rehashed the measures that his government is taking in Ghana to deal with the issue such as the establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor to prosecute government officials, both past and present, who engage in corrupt practices.
Corruption in Africa
Corruption is one of the most formidable challenges to good governance, development and poverty reduction in Africa as has been captured in the 2008 Transparency International Report. The Report further states that, ‘corruption in Africa is like an advanced cancer or tumour that cannot be treated. Like cancer, corruption has tragically devastated African societies and made millions of people very poor. From South Africa to Egypt, the tentacles of corruption reaches every where. Corruption has no boundaries. From the offices of presidents and prime ministers to the smallest administration unit of government corruption is everywhere. According to the Africa Union (AU) around $148 billion are stolen from the continent by its leaders and civil servants every year. The recent Forbes’ list of most corrupt nations had 9 out of the first 16 countries coming from Africa’.