The decision was announced in the continental workshop on the formation of the African Anti-Corruption Research Network, held on 9-11 May in Arusha, Tanzania. The event saw the participation of anti-corruption researches and practitioners, as well as representatives of anti-corruption bodies and international organisations, including the Commonwealth Africa Anti-Corruption Centre.
The goal of the AACRN will consist in providing scientifically based data to the member States of the African Union to inform their anti-corruption action. In particular, the new entity will focus on the following objectives:
- Elaborate as clear a definition of corruption as possible;
- Analyse the role of multilateral institutions in the fight against corruption;
- Assess the efficiency and effectiveness of domestic anti-corruption bodies;
- Apply a systematic approach to the fight against corruption also by taking into consideration the impact of social and cultural features;
- Compare the anti-corruption measures at the continental level;
- Map the existing anti-corruption research;
- Institutionalize research on corruption to facilitate coordination, mobilize resources and utilize the outcome.
It is expected that the AACRN will support and promote an African programme of anti-corruption research, the findings of which will constitute the basis for developing analytical and research notes, recommendations with subsequent establishment of an African Anti-Corruption Journal.
In the course of the event, a decision to consider the establishment of a research division under the African Union Advisory Board Against Corruption (AUABC) was announced. Its objective is to maintain contacts with key stakeholders and coordinate the promotion of the findings of the AACRN research.
In order to effectively implement the recommendations of the AACRN in practice, it is suggested that the countries that will adhere to the entity:
- Adopt legal acts and implement mechanisms aimed at countering corruption in line with the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption;
- Create research infrastructure to promote the evidence-based fight against corruption;
- Enhance the accessibility of information about corruption and the measures to counter it, raise awareness of policymakers, academia, civil society and the media about educational resources and research findings, and provide civil servants with anti-corruption training;
- Strengthen partnerships between universities, research centres and domestic anti-corruption agencies to employ research findings in practice;
- Enhance research potential of domestic anti-corruption agencies also by providing them with sufficient financial and human resources and establishing internal research units;
- Ensure active participation of the youth in the fight against corruption.
*With the aim to elaborate the strategy of further development of the AACRN, the participants of the workshop designated an Interim Caretaker Executive Committee that consists of the AUABC, Stellenbosch University, Kenyatta University, Association of African Anti-Corruption Authorities, Cameron Anti-Corruption Commission, African Association for Public Administration and Management and Independent Researcher.