Network of Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa (NACIWA) gathers in Cotonou, Benin

      This activity was funded
by Denmark

The General Assembly of the Network of Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa (NACIWA) gathered in Cotonou, Benin from 13 to 15 July 2016 with UNODC support. Hosted by the National Anti-Corruption Commission of Benin and under the auspices of H.E. the President of Benin, Mr. Patrice Talon, the General Assembly brought together representatives of anti-corruption authorities from Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Delegates from ECOWAS, UNODC and civil society also attended the meeting.

At the opening ceremony, the Minister of Justice and Legislation from Benin, Mr. Joseph Djogbenou, expressed his desire to see a rapid eradication of corruption across the region. The President of the NACIWA network, Mr. Issoufou Boureima, emphasised his country's approach in the fight against corruption, which is focused on optimising government resources by stopping fraud in revenue collection and leakages in government expenditures.

The General Assembly discussed NACIWA 2015 activity and financial reports, as well as the Work Plan for 2016, presented by the NACIWA Permanent Secretariat based in Dakar, Senegal. Subsequently, the members provided an account of the anti-corruption activities carried out by each of them since the last meeting held in June 2015 in Bamako, Mali, and encouraged the NACIWA Secretariat to pursue efforts to finalise the NACIWA report on National Anti-Corruption Institutions in West Africa, in partnership with UNODC.

The participants during the third Annual General Assembly of the NACIWA

The General Assembly also took note of the recent entry into force of the ECOWAS Protocol on the fight against corruption with the ratifications of Niger and Senegal and discussed the need to set up a mechanism to monitor its implementation. In this regard, they expressed the wish for closer collaboration between NACIWA and ECOWAS and agreed to review options at the next General Assembly.

The meeting provided an opportunity for ECOWAS to present its whistle-blower protection strategy, which was adopted by the General Assembly. Hence, members were encouraged to support the implementation of this strategy, and invited ECOWAS Commission to organise ad-hoc sensitisation programmes, as well as consider drawing up an ECOWAS regulation on whistle-blower protection.

Furthermore, NACIWA members stressed the importance of collaborating with the media with a view to ensuring adequate communication on their activities, as well as to discouraging the commission of acts of corruption. In this regard, a delegation of journalists from the newly established Cell Norbert Zongo for Investigative Journalism in West Africa ( CENOZO) was invited to present its Strategy for 2016-2018.

The General Assembly also pointed out the importance to strengthen cooperation among NACIWA members in the areas of prevention and investigations and highlighted the role the NACIWA Secretariat can play in facilitating such cooperation.

Finally, on the eve of the General Assembly, the Advisory Board of NACIWA's Anti-Corruption Academy met to assess the achievements of the first edition of the Academy, held in Abuja, Nigeria, in September 2015. Building on the feedback received from the participants, the Board members discussed the organization of the second edition of the Academy, to take place in Abuja in November 2016, hosted by the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC).

For further information, the recommendations of the General Assembly are available here.

For more information:

Website of the United Nations Anti-Corruption campaign

UNODC's Action against Corruption and Economic Crime

United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)

Find out more about Anti-Corruption activities in West and Central Africa