ECOWAS anti-corruption stakeholders discuss ECOWAS Protocol implementation review report
Transparency International's (TI) West Africa Regional Hub organised on 21 December 2021, with the technical and financial support of the TI Secretariat in Berlin, a Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on the status of the implementation of the ECOWAS Protocol on the fight against corruption 20 years later. The purpose of the dialogue was threefold, namely (1) to present the findings and recommendations of the study on the status of implementation of the ECOWAS Protocol on the fight against corruption, conducted by TI national chapters and partner organisations; (2) to brainstorm on priority actions needed to address the weaknesses identified in the implementation of the ECOWAS Protocol on the fight against corruption by states; and (3) to discuss next steps to strengthen the ratification and implementation process of the Protocol
Indeed, on 21 December 2001, the ECOWAS Protocol on the Fight against Corruption was adopted at the Conference of Heads of State and Government in Dakar in order to promote the strengthening, harmonization and coordination of anti-corruption measures in the region, which is still plagued by corruption. Even if the legal and institutional framework for the fight against corruption in the ECOWAS region benefits from a certain number of achievements, these may be compromised by several threats or weaknesses. Thus, 20 years after the adoption of the ECOWAS Protocol on the fight against corruption, ratified by nine (9) of the fifteen (15) Member States, it is necessary to assess the implementation of its relevant provisions. To this end, Transparency International (TI) national chapters in ten (10) countries in collaboration with partner organisations in Burkina Faso and Guinea agreed to conduct a study to examine the implementation of the protocol, particularly its provisions on preventive measures and asset recovery.
The report of the study is intended as a regional advocacy tool for strengthening the protocol and its implementation. To this end, this ECOWAS anti-corruption stakeholder dialogue was organised to exchange views on the findings of the study and to reflect together on actions to make the implementation of the protocol more effective.
The dialogue started with a welcome address by Dr. Ebeh Kodjo Fabrice, Anti-Corruption Policy Expert and Lead Expert who conducted the review, followed by an address by Mr. Samuel Kaninda, Africa Regional Adviser at the Transparency International Secretariat, who reviewed the background of the study and the context and objectives of the meeting. The opening remarks were given by Mr. Francis Ben Kaifala, Chairman of the Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commission and Chairman of the Network of National Anti-Bribery Institutions in West Africa (RINLCAO).
At the end of this meeting, representatives of donors, private companies, CSOs, ECOWAS leaders and representatives of anti-corruption agencies, decided to strengthen their partnerships and efforts for an effective anti-bribery in the ECOWAS region.