Beyond The Pan-African Counter Corruption Assembly 2023

The Pan-African Counter Corruption Assembly will take place in September 2023. But what is it, and how will it empower African nations to tackle the scourge of corruption? 

The South African Regional Centre of Excellence in Integrity (SARCOE) has been established as a result of the partnership between Pavocat (South Africa), and the Law Faculty at Stellenbosch University. This partnership, known as the Pavocat Stellenbosch Academy(PSA), convened the first Counter Corruption Summit at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study(STIAS) in September 2022

Over 70 high ranking politicians, thought leaders, and influencers attended the Summit, including Ronald Lamola MP, South Africa’s Justice Minister. 

The purpose of the Summit was to discuss the challenges facing South Africa and the African continent that result from corruption. 

The result of the Summit was a unanimous call by delegates for the immediate establishment of SARCOE with a dual mandate as a Pan-Africa Counter Corruption Think Tank and training establishment providing highly practical Stellenbosch University accredited courses to professionals involved in combatting corruption, advancing human rights, and improving compliance with the laws of armed conflict on the African continent. 

SARCOE will host the first Pan-Africa Counter Corruption Assembly in September 2023.

This call by delegates is expressed through The Summit Declaration.

Following the groundbreaking Counter Corruption Summit, Ronald Lamola MP penned an open letter giving ministerial authority to its founders to raise funds for the SARCOE. 

Hon. Ronald Lamola MP wrote, “I have absolutely no doubt of the need for the SARCOE and the tangible benefits it will bring to our collective campaign to eradicate corruption, and I and those within my Ministry are committed to ensuring its success.”

The first Pan-Africa Counter Corruption Assembly is scheduled to be held during September 2023 and is intended to bring together leading figures from the private and public sectors, NGOs, and other organisations vital in the fight against corruption in Africa.

Beyond the Counter Corruption Assembly 2023

SARCOE intends for the Pan African Counter Corruption Assembly to be the forerunner to the South Africa Dialogue which will be held in 2023. It is intended to provide the focus for identifying integrated counter corruption strategies that can be implemented across Africa at a national level.

From 2024 SARCOE will host the South Africa Dialogue. This annual event will bring together World leaders, Heads of State from across Africa, and other thought leaders and VIPs.  The objectives of the South Africa Dialogue are to (1) build on and develop the work started at PACCA; and (2) identify and help implement effective, efficient, and deliverable national and regional strategies for combatting corruption

The South Africa Dialogue is inspired by the Manama Dialogue (security in the Middle East), and Davos (World Economic Forum). It will build upon the Counter Corruption Assembly 2023 by identifying effective national and regional strategies for combatting corruption which will collectively form to produce a strategic counter corruption framework for Africa. 

The South Africa Dialogue will develop a strategic counter corruption framework from which National Conversations will flow.

The National Conversations

National Conversations will evolve from the South Africa Dialogue Strategic Counter Corruption Framework for Africa and are intended to roll out across each African nation. These conversations focus on the resolution of domestic corruption problems, drawing on the knowledge and learning from the development of the Strategic Framework.

The role of SARCOE is to facilitate and convene National Conversations in the capitals of African nations within the scope of the Strategic Counter Corruption Framework. 

The National Conversations will involve all elements of society at all levels. Strategic level conversations will give way to discussions at the working level, and SARCOE will capture the essence of these discussions as part of the National Conversation and present its findings to the sponsoring government for dissemination to all.

The South Africa Dialogue and subsequent National Conversations are not intended to compete with the work of UNODC and UNCAC, but rather to complement this work. The crucial difference between the South Africa Dialogue and UNCAC is that the Dialogue is designed solely to support finding solutions to African problems. It will facilitate the development of African solutions to African problems. 

The Dialogue and National Conversations are designed to be living entities, constantly evolving through annual conversations, and not constrained by conventional thinking. 

Financing SARCOE and the South African Dialogue

To succeed SARCOE will require significant, sustainable funding to achieve its key aim of countering corruption across the African continent. It must, therefore, secure long term funding.

There are a number of sources which include:

  • The public and private sectors in South Africa and across the African continent
  • International financial Institutions and IGOs
  • ESG contributions from companies trading or investing in Africa
  • Sponsorship of training courses and the South Africa Dialogue
  • Philanthropists and philanthropic funds

The open letter of authority penned by Ronald Lamosa MP gives authority to SARCOE to seek such funds.