The 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference
Report Back to Plenary
The Workshop took place in two sessions presided over by Mr. Ahmedou Ould Abdallah, Executive Secretary of the African Global Coalition and Mr. Victor Angelo of UNDP, respectively.
Mr. Joseph Warioba, President of the Presidential Commission on Corruption in Tanzania and panelist of the first session, put an accent on the necessity of international cooperation and on the importance of transparency and governance of the public sector in the fight against corruption. According to Mr. Warioba, an action plan based on a clear strategy and on an unequivocal political will is necessary.
Following Mr. Warioba, Mr. Mahamdou Magassouba, Legal Counsel of the President of the Malian Republic, introduced a juridical overtone by suggesting the creation of an African Regional Convention on Penal Law to overcome the obstacle presented by different national legislation. Mr. Magassouba then proposed an African Convention on Corruption based on the 25 principles of the 22 February 1999 Declaration of Washington.
To facilitate lawsuits, Mr. Magasssouba suggested reversing the burden of proof in corruption court cases. The proposition would place the burden of proof on the person pursued for corruption to prove his innocence, and not on the Public Ministry, contrary to the current prevailing principle in corruption cases.
Mrs. Miria Matembé, Minister of Ethics and Integrity, presented initiatives taken in her country to include in Ugandan legislation the 25 principles of the 22 February 1999 Declaration of Washington.
During her intervention, Mrs. Matembé insisted on the importance of political will for the reform process of the political and administrative system as a prerequisite in the strategy to fight corruption. Civil society's crucial role in this fight, and the urgency of a cooperation at the African scale were also stressed in the very lively intervention of Ms. Matembé.
Mr. Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi of the Democratic and Development Center, Ghana, insisted during his intervention on the essential input of civil society and the media in the fight against corruption, noting as well that society has to impose transparency on itself to be credible.
Mr. Gyimah-Boadi pleaded for the implementation of an African Convention on Corruption and invited civil society to engage itself in this battle.
The discussions engendered by the speakers of the first session panel were followed by an exchange between the participants. Synthesis of this exchange will be included in the summary of recommendations.
The second session of the workshop began with the intervention of Mr. Warioba, who reported to the participants the recommendations of the Round Table of Dar Es Salaam, including:
Then Mr. Louis du Pisani made a presentation on the strategy to fight corruption in Namibia and solicited the assistance of more developed countries to share their experiences on this subject.
Following Mr. du Pisani, Dr. John Makumbe, President of Transparency International/Zimbabwe, suggested the creation of a strategic alliance against corruption between the private sector, the government and civil society.
Like some of the speakers who preceded him, Dr. Makumbe also proposed, the creation of a data base on corruption, the harmonization of juridical framework, the reversal of the burden of proof of corruption and the revision, and simplification of conventions on extradition.
In addition, Dr. Makumbe proposed that:
Following this last presentation of the second session panel of the workshop, a lengthy discussion took place on the different propositions suggested by the panelists and speakers.
The debates that followed the presentations in the workshop resulted in the following recommendations: