By Fidelis Munyoro
Africa can only build a robust and sustainable economy that can change the lives of its people if member-states put great effort to purge the scourge of corruption, a Cabinet minister has said. The African Union (AU) has marked 2018 as the African anti-corruption year, on the theme “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.”
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo extolled the AU for the choice of the theme, saying it resonated well with the thrust of President Mnangagwa’s new dispensation, which is zero tolerance to corruption.
Minister Moyo commended the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFT) in Kigali, Rwanda, in March, saying it was a milestone and a giant step towards realisation of Africa’s blueprint Agenda 2063.
The minister, however, said the ACFT on its own was not going to achieve much as long as the country’s borders remained closed to the African populace.
“Equally important was the launch of the single African air transport market in January 2018 which will facilitate inter-Africa air transport and hence the free movement of people as well as goods and services within Africa.
“These key achievements within the space of three years since the adoption of Agenda 2063, speaks volumes of Africa’s determination to build a resilient and sustainable economy for the benefit of its people.”
Minister Moyo said the establishment of the ACFT dove-tailed with the vision enunciated in the 1960s by the former prime minister of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) the late Dr Patrice Lumumba who said “the day will come when history will speak… Africa will write its own history . . . of glory and dignity.”
“For this to happen, it is imperative that we intensify our efforts to rid our continent of the cancer of corruption that is debilitating our economies,” said Minister Moyo.
“We look forward to engaging and learning from our brothers and sisters on this issue in the debate that will take place during the July 2018 AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to be held in Nouakchott, Mauritania,” he said.
The AU assembly of Heads of State and Government will be held under this theme “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.
Africa is widely considered among the world’s most corrupt places, a factor seen as contributing to the stunted development and impoverishment of many African states. It is estimated that corruption cost the continent billions of United States dollars yearly.
Corruption in Africa ranges from high-level political graft on the scale of millions of dollars to low-level bribes.
While political graft imposes the largest direct financial cost on a country, petty bribes have a corrosive effect on basic institutions and undermine public trust in the government.