Corruption in West and Central Africa jeopardizes peace, security, development, and attainment of human rights. It impairs the national authorities’ capacity to effectively deliver basic services such as healthcare, education and justice, thus eroding people’s confidence in public and private institutions. Therefore, corruption remains a significant obstacle to development in the region, undermining democratic institutions, slowing economic growth, contributing to governmental instability and fueling organized crime and general insecurity.
Organized crime and terrorist groups operating in West and Central Africa thrive in environments affected by corruption and marked by lack of transparency, oversight and accountability, relying heavily on corruption to facilitate illicit operations and prevent interference from law enforcement and judicial officials. Corruption is therefore both a cause and a consequence of many illicit activities in the region, which include the trafficking of arms, drugs, and cultural property; terrorism; wildlife and forest crime, human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
The UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and its Implementation Review Mechanism serve as powerful tools in the fight against corruption. In addition to its comprehensive scope, the Convention recognizes that effective anti-corruption efforts require the involvement of different branches of the public sector, as well as civil society and the private sector.
To support States parties' efforts in implementing UNCAC and develop national and regional capacities to prevent and effectively combat corruption, UNODC delivers technical assistance aimed at:
Strengthening anti-corruption policies, legislation and strategies in line with UNCAC country review recommendations;
Supporting the strengthening of anti-corruption authorities, and enhancing the national capacity to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate corruption;
Promoting preventive measures, such as asset and interest disclosure by public officials and enhanced integrity and accountability within law enforcement and criminal justice systems;
Raising awareness among youth and the general public, notably through anti-corruption education and investigative journalism;
Strengthening international cooperation through regional anti-corruption networks, in particular of anti-corruption authorities in West Africa and across the continent.
Generating anti-corruption knowledge products, such as publications, reports, research and other practical tools. [Read more]