Stocktaking of Business Integrity and Anti-Bribery Legislation, Policies and Practices in Twenty African Countries

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Author(s):
OECD, AfDB
Publication Date :
20 Sep 2012
Pages :
188
ISBN :
9789264169586 (PDF) ; 9789264169524 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264169586-en

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This book features the results of a stocktaking exercise of business integrity and anti-bribery policies for 20 countries in Africa.  It is the result of a collaborative initative between OECD and the African Development Bank.   Countries covered include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

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    Foreword

    Corruption and the lack of transparency and accountability in business transactions remain high on the list of investment risks in Africa. Effective measures to promote private sector transparency and accountability, prevent conflicts of interest, deter the bribery of public officials, and ensure the effective investigation and prosecution of bribe-givers and recipients, will help curb corruption risks that have hampered Africa's economic development, investment climate and progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

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    Abbreviations
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    Executive summary

    Bribery raises serious moral and political concerns, undermines good governance and sustainable economic development, and distorts competition. To attract investment and facilitate economic growth, it is essential that countries address the problem of bribery of public officials in business transactions and take steps to promote business integrity.

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    Introduction

    In the wake of the global economic crisis, countries also face a crisis of a different kind: A global crisis of confidence in how the world does business. Corruption has played a key role in this crisis of confidence. Even if the crisis originated thousands of miles away from Africa, the continent cannot afford to stay out of the global reflection on the way to recover from the economic crisis and to restore confidence in how business is done. To do this, African governments and businesses must work together to stamp out corruption in international business transactions. No one can postpone this effort for when economic times get better.

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    International and African regional initiatives to combat bribery of public officials in business transactions

    Chapter 1 sets out the major international and African regional conventions (and related protocols), as well as soft law instruments, such as recommendations, guidelines and toolkits adopted by the African countries studied that aim to combat bribery and corruption and promote private sector transparency and accountability. This chapter also briefly addresses the main African regional anti-corruption initiatives and the various international organisations active in promoting anti-corruption and good governance in the region.

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    Bribery and related offences

    Chapter 2 provides an overview of the criminalisation of bribery landscape in the region and serves as the basis for analysis in the ensuing chapters. It highlights laws criminalising the active and passive bribery of public officials, and the bribery of foreign public officials, in the twenty countries studied. This chapter also addresses the related offences of illicit enrichment and trading in influence.

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    Prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of bribery

    The first part of Chapter 3 discusses the preventive role of anti-corruption commissions, including their role as public educators and trainers. This section also addresses detection mechanisms, including the provision of whistleblower protection laws, laws governing the disclosure of income and assets held by public officials and other mechanisms, such as the use of hotlines and reporting systems. This chapter further deals with fighting bribery by improving public procurement systems, and by making bribery a predicate offence to money laundering.

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    Business integrity

    Chapter 4 discusses the role of the private sector in promoting business integrity and preventing bribery. The Chapter addresses internationally-accepted accounting and auditing standards and legal provisions, including those set out under the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). This Chapter continues by discussing global and regional initiatives, including sector-specific initiatives, aimed at promoting standards for corporate integrity and transparency. Finally, this Chapter looks at the initiatives of national chambers of commerce and highlights private sector codes of conduct developed in some of the countries studied.

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    Participation of civil society and the role of the media

    Chapter 5 discusses the important watchdog role of civil society organisations and the media in the fight against corruption and bribery, and provides an overview of the various anti-corruption and media organisations active in the various countries studied. This Chapter also focuses on the related issues of freedom of expression and access to information laws.

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    Recommendations

    Chapter 6 sets out a number of recommendations based on the findings of the Report and highlights areas for further attention and action on the part of governments, private sector and civil society, with the support of the OECD and AfDB. More specifically, the recommendations address: Strengthening anti-bribery legislation; strengthening the effective implementation of anti-bribery and related laws; promoting cooperation across agencies; increasing resources for the investigation and prosecution of bribery; strengthening awareness of anti-bribery laws; improving means of detection and reporting of bribery; strengthening business integrity and accountability, and; promoting the involvement of the public, civil society and the media.

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    Status of ratifications of OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, African Union Anti-Corruption Convention, and UNCAC by the twenty African Countries
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    Details on international and African regional initiatives to combat bribery of public officials

    This Annex provides further information on (a) the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and the OECD work and initiatives in the fight against corruption, (b) the United Nations Convention against Corruption and (c) the African Union Convention against corruption.

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    Criminalisation of bribery and public procurement laws: Relevant laws and applicable provisions in the twenty African countries
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    The establishment of specialised anti-corruption agencies and other relevant bodies in the twenty African countries
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    Accounting and auditing standards in the twenty African countries
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