Regional Workshop to Fast-track the Implementation of  the Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)

NAIROBI, 13 to 17 February 2017

Members of the East African Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (EAAACA), senior policy makers from the Eastern Africa region, development partners and Civil Society Organizations met in Nairobi for a five day workshop to foster partnerships, and fast track the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).The regional workshop hosted by UNODC, and supported by the Foreign Commonwealth Office (United Kingdom), was held from 13 to 17 February 2017 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, and drew delegates from; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Djibouti and South Sudan.

Mr. Tim Steele, UNODC's Global Anti-Corruption Advisor emphasized that the objective of the workshop was to deliver an actionable outcome document which EAAACA member states could adopt in fast-tracking the implementation of UNCAC.

Mrs. Charity Kagwi-Ndung'u, the Head of the Criminal Justice Programme at UNODC's Regional Office in Eastern Africa (ROEA), highlighted the intersections between corruption and the chronic problems of lack of development, bad governance and conflict, which she stated necessitated a regional multi-stakeholder strategy to effectively combat.

Mr. Njenga Miiri (Secretary, Administration, Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice [Kenya]) gave a speech on behalf of Mr. Njee Muturi, the Solicitor General of Kenya, at the opening of the technical segment of the workshop on 13 February 2017. The Attorney General of Kenya, Professor Githu Muigai opened the high-level policy segment of the workshop on 15 February 2017. Mr. Muturi and Professor Muigai, welcomed delegates to the workshop in Kenya, and highlighted the efforts being made to fight corruption globally. Both speakers however noted that considerable challenges remain in significantly addressing the problem.

The workshop agenda was built on peer-to-peer discussions along four thematic areas; Financial Investigations, Whistle-blower Protection, International Cooperation and Public Procurement. During the first two days of the workshop, technical experts from the Eastern Africa Region, with the facilitation of UNODC thematic experts, drew up recommendations aimed at fast-tracking the implementation of UNCAC. These recommendations were then presented during the ensuing policy segment of the workshop attended by senior policy makers from the region, development partners and Civil Society Organizations. The senior policy makers reviewed the recommendations and adopted the final outcome document after making additional inputs.

 The recommendations adopted included; the facilitation of training and capacity building of anti-corruption experts in the four thematic areas, the creation of best practice guides and advisory notes in the thematic areas, the review of existing anti-corruption legislation to identify and rectify policy gaps, the adoption of requisite anti-corruption legislation, the enhancement of the region's systems and procedures of evidence management, whistle-blower protection, procurement and mutual legal assistance, enhancement of anti-corruption public and political awareness raising and the development of anti-corruption networks and experience sharing platforms.

The senior policy makers also reiterated their commitment to implementing recommendations emanating from the first cycle of their respective nation's UNCAC Reviews. UNODC and development partners present agreed to seek to mobilize resources to support the implementation of the action plan. It was further agreed that regional actions should be coordinated through the EAAACA.

The regional workshop built on the momentum and outcomes of the UK Anti-Corruption Summit that took place on 12 May 2016 in London, and was an important step in promoting the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 16, which includes the reduction of "bribery and corruption in all their forms".