Despite encouraging steps in the past five years, huge challenges remain in the fight against corruption in Africa, for which the African Union (AU) has declared the year 2018 as African anti-corruption year, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission.
In his New Year message later Sunday, the chairperson underlined that the fight against corruption assumes even greater importance and urgency. He noted that the year has been declared "Project 2018", with the theme, "Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa's Transformation," under which the upcoming summit of the AU heads of states will also be held.
"As we work towards building stronger institutions and promoting prosperity, the fight against corruption assumes even greater importance and urgency. It is a well-recognized fact that corruption hinders efforts aimed at promoting democratic governance, socio-economic transformation and peace and security," he said. He has also reiterated that the pan-African bloc remains committed to working with its member states to deliver on the ambitious Agenda 2063 flagship project of Silencing the Guns by 2020. "We all need to rededicate ourselves to ending violence and sustaining peace in our continent, including by bringing to a successful conclusion the ongoing peace processes in Mali and the Central African Republic, ensuring that the elections planned in the Democratic Republic of Congo in December 2018 take place on time and in a conducive environment, consolidating progress made in Somalia, and ending the threat posed by terrorism in the Sahel, the Lake Chad Basin, and in Horn of Africa," said the Chairperson.
He has expressed hope that the south Sudanese stakeholders would deliver on the commitments made in the agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access signed as part of the IGAD-led Revitalization Forum in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa in December 2017. "The people of South Sudan, who have endured so much pain and suffering, desperately need and deserve peace," he said. "As we enter 2018, we should remember all those who lost their lives not because they lost the will to live, but because of the deadly cloud of conflict, intolerance and disregard for human life and endeavor," he added.