Our Policy and Advocacy Manager, Obaa Akua Konadu, participated in the 2018 West and Central African Youth Consultation on the fight against corruption in Dakar, Senegal from 5-7 September 2018. The bi-lingual consultation was convened by the African Governance Architecture (AGA) Secretariat under the African Union Commission, under the theme “Leveraging Youth Capacities for the Fight Against Corruption in Africa”. The theme is aligned to the AU’s theme for 2018; “Winning the fight against corruption: a sustainable path to Africa’s transformation”. In attendance were Hon. Miarom Begoto (Chairperson, African Union Advisory Board on Corruption), Hon. Pape Gorgui Ndong (Minister of Youth, Citizen Construction and Promotion of Volunteering, Senegal) and Hon. Issaka Garba (Senior Political Officer & Head of Governance Unit, Department of Political Affairs, AUC). The purpose of the consultation is to provide a collaborative, open and inclusive space to leverage and foster meaningful participation of young people in the fight against corruption in Africa.
Amb. Salah Hammad, the Ag. Head of the AGA, in his opening remarks stressed the need to leverage the capacities and energies of the youth in the fight against corruption across the continent. During the consultation, the need for more workable pathways of fighting corruption was re-echoed, as corruption threatens the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the AU’s Agenda 2063 and leads to the violation of human rights. Participants engaged in critical discussion points on ‘Corruption in Africa: addressing a key driver of governance deficits’; ‘Can young people turn the tide on corruption in West and Central Africa’ and ‘building collective consciousness through music for the fight against corruption’. Participants touted diverse tech-enabled strategies as useful pathways for reducing the incidence of corruption and also highlighting the activities of individuals who uphold integrity. ‘Follow the Money’, ‘Accountability Lab, Mali’ and ‘Jeunesse Africaine contre la Corruption et pour la Transparence (J-ACT)’ shared their experiences in that regard. Integrity, accountability and ethical leadership are essential elements that need to be sustained in Africa’s fight against corruption.