The focus of the 2017 seminar under this project is on the theme, “Corruption and constitutionalism in Africa: Revisiting control measures and strategies.” This theme has been chosen in recognition of the fact that corruption is probably one of the biggest threats to peace and stability in Africa today. The ravages of corruption casts an ominous dark shadow over the future political, economic, and social progress of the continent given the deleterious effects it is having on the faltering efforts to establish a culture of constitutionalism, democracy, respect for the rule of law and good governance. Although over the years, there has been relentless pressure on African governments from donor governments, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the UN, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), specialist NGOs such as Transparency International (TI) and the African Union (AU), Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) to clean up corruption, not much has been accomplished.
The discussion of the impact of corruption on constitutionalism, good governance and rule of law in Africa during the seminar will approach the issue from three main dimensions. First, whether the constitutional and legislative frameworks for combating corruption is sufficiently robust to deal with the matter. The second dimension will look at the institutions, both formal and informal that have been provided for dealing with corruption. What are they, what are their roles and why have they not been very effective? The third dimension will look at the processes used and the measures provided to prevent, detect, punish, control and eradicate corruption. Why are these not working? What needs to be done to strengthen public accountability, limit avenues for corruption and bolster constitutionalism and good governance?