Maame Tiwa Addo Danquah (left), Executive Director, Economic and Organised Crime Office, speaking at the event
Maame Tiwa Addo Danquah (left), Executive Director, Economic and Organised Crime Office, speaking at the event

Anti-Corruption agencies in Africa unite to fight canker

The 14th Regional Conference and Annual General Meeting of Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa ended last Friday with a resolution to strengthen cooperation in the fight against corruption. 

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The conference, held between May 5 and12, 2024, brought together heads and representatives of anti-corruption agencies from across the continent who are members of the Commonwealth.

The conference adopted several resolutions, including a call on governments to enact and enhance legislative frameworks for beneficial ownership of registers in line with best practices.

They also urged the governments of member countries to ensure the mandatory disclosure of assets and liabilities of public service holders. The delegates also called for the auditing of the lifestyles of public service holders and their significant associates.

"Commonwealth Africa governments should consider legislative frameworks which put the burden of proof on individuals with unexplained wealth", they said in a communique issued at the end of the conference.

Reading the communique, the Head of Public Sector Governance at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr Roger Oppong Koranteng, urged member countries to scale up the use of technology to combat corruption and commit adequate resources to anti-corruption agencies to enhance their effectiveness.

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Also, he urged anti -corruption agencies to collaborate with local and international partners and preserve their independence to ensure their effectiveness. In the statement, the delegates expressed gratitude to the government and people of Ghana for their hospitality and support, and also commended the government for its efforts in fighting corruption.

The communiqué was signed by representatives of all member countries present at the conference and the AGM, and will be submitted to the heads of governments from all Commonwealth nations in Africa for consideration at their next meeting in June, this year.

A Deputy Attorney-General, Alfred Atua-Yeboah, noted that the resolutions and agreements reached at the conference were expected to strengthen the fight against corruption in Commonwealth Africa and promote good governance and transparency. He emphasised that anti-corruption agencies were crucial to ensuring proper management of resources in countries for prosperity.


Next conference

The 14th regional heads of anti-corruption agencies in Commonwealth Africa featured panel discussions, workshops on various topics, including asset recovery, anti-corruption strategies and the role of technology in combating corruption.

Delegates also shared experiences and best practices from their respective countries, highlighting successes and challenges in the fight against corruption. They were also taken on a tour of the cities of Accra and Cape Coast.

The conference welcomed the offer by South Africa to host the next conference in 2025, and confirmed Ghana's Executive Director of the Economic and Organised Crime Office, Commissioner of Police COP Maame Tiwa Addo Danquah, as the next Chair of the heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies Association in Commonwealth Africa. 

She will serve as the Chair until the next conference and AGM scheduled for May, 2025, in South Africa. The host of the annual conference and AGM rotates among member countries.

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