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SDC11908A constellation of factors makes Africa such a fertile ground for corruption, including historical, socio-economic and political dynamics that contribute to the proliferation of the phenomenon. These include a lack of political will, over-reliance on the extractive sector and the resource scourge, in addition to the quest for power, wealth and prestige. Issues in this regard include complex relationships, alliances, pacts and networks such as aspirations of various groups e.g. the international community (stability, equity and stabilisation), the elites (access), the middle class (self-actualisation) and the average citizen (service delivery). Other drivers of corruption in Africa include the link between economic and political governance and the exploitation of public office for private benefit.

The culture of disclosure among African corporations generally is yet to come up to par with international standards. Africa’s dark history of autocratic and unaccountable government, as well as conflict and crises in many parts of the continent, have posed particular challenges to governance and the fight against corruption. Another challenge facing reform in Africa is the quality of regulatory and institutional frameworks to promote transparency and accountability. The suitability of global standards to local markets and economic structures is also a point in issue. With regards to the regulatory environment, there are lacunas or gaps in the procedural and evidence laws of some countries, some of which are out of date and do not accommodate technological advancements (particularly the evidential status and admissibility of computer and other electronically generated documents) that are part of the present day.

SDC11918The proliferation of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), State-owned enterprises (SOEs), co-operatives and other indigenous forms of economic enterprises within the informal sector in many parts of the continent require significant innovation to mainstream corporate governance and anti-corruption measures.

The African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption provides a catalogue of acts that are criminalised under several national penal laws and now forms part of the international and regional legal framework for combating corruption. The acts take various forms and dimensions, including: public corruption, private corruption, grand corruption, petty corruption, bribery, embezzlement, fraud, nepotism, favouritism, abuse of power, conflict of interest, facilitation payment, use of agents and intermediaries, improper political contributions, money laundering, tax evasion, cover quoting or bid rigging, extortion, intimidation, insider trading / abuse of privileged information, fronting, price fixing or anti-competitive practices. Influence Africa is working with Blandford Consulting as a technical lead in the research and development of the BAAC Africa Benchmarking Tool on anti-corruption. The purpose of the Benchmarking Initiative includes the following:

  • assisting African countries in benchmarking their progress in fighting corruption, particularly with regards to understanding their growth areas, identifying and addressing gaps, and monitoring their performance over time;
  • complimenting and supporting the initiatives of official African institutions geared towards fighting corruption and improving the enabling environment for public-private sector growth on the continent such as
    1. the African Governance Report (AGR) project of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA);
    2. New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s (NEPAD) African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) programme;
    3. governance and private sector support programmes of the African Development Bank (AfDB); and
    4. the African Union (AU) Advisory Board on Corruption;
  • ensuring that the role and perspective of the private sector regarding fighting corruption in Africa is properly contextualised and mainstreamed;SDC11943
  • promoting the enabling environment for private sector growth and competitiveness in Africa, as well as public-private partnerships and collective multi-stakeholder action in dealing with the issue of corruption in Africa;

Influence Africa is also involved in the following anti-corruption projects:

  1. creating a social network media campaign to support Business Unity South Africa’s (BUSA) mentoring programme on business integrity;
  2. partnering with AFREXIMBANK, Blandford Consulting and STRATEGICO to develop Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines for Africa;
  3. supporting the work of the Governance and Public Administration Division (GPAD) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on illicit financial flows out of Africa; and
  4. supporting UNECA’s multi-stakeholder convening regarding corruption and the private sector in Africa.

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Related Publications

Publication On Collective Action Against Corruption In AfricaReport of Meetings on Regional Anti-Corruption Programme  and Illicit Financial Outflow Flow from AfricaMentoring Programme on Business Integrity: Mentoring Guide 2012


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