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Africa Day 2024: Combatting corruption in defence and security key to future stability and progress  

25th May 2024

Michael Ofori-Mensah, Head of Research at Transparency International Defence & Security, said:  

“On Africa Day 2024, we acknowledge the significance of this celebration and the tremendous potential for progress across the continent.  

“To ensure a bright future for Africa’s 1.2 billion people, it is crucial to address the pervasive issue of corruption within the defence and security sectors.  

“Our research has shown how opaque procurement processes, mismanagement of defence budgets and weak oversight have resulted in the waste of funds, the erosion of public trust and the undermining of national security.  

“Nigeria’s counter-insurgency efforts against Boko Haram have been severely hampered by corruption, while South Africa’s defence procurement scandals vividly highlight the broader challenges faced by the continent.  

“It is important to also highlight the positive developments, including increased transparency initiatives and strengthened anti-corruption efforts in various African countries and through regional cooperation. 

“Corruption in the defence sector has far-reaching consequences for governance and democracy, diverting resources away from essential services and fueling conflict and instability. 

“By addressing defence sector corruption, African states can safeguard national security, promote economic development, and strengthen democratic institutions. Transparency International Defence & Security stands ready to support African governments and civil society in this crucial endeavor.” 


Transparency International Defence & Security calls upon African governments and African regional institutions to:  

  1. Enhance transparency and accountability: Implement robust transparency measures in defence procurement, budgeting, and decision-making processes. Establish independent oversight bodies and strengthen parliamentary oversight over defence activities. 
  1. Strengthen anti-corruption frameworks: Enact and enforce comprehensive anti-corruption laws, including whistleblower protection mechanisms, and ensure the independence and adequate resourcing of anti-corruption agencies. 
  1. Foster regional cooperation: Strengthen regional cooperation and information sharing on defence sector corruption, leveraging existing frameworks like the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) initiatives. 
  1. Promote civic engagement: Encourage civil society organisations and the media to actively monitor and report on defence sector activities, fostering public scrutiny and accountability. 
  1. Prioritise good governance: Uphold democratic principles, the rule of law, and good governance practices within defence institutions, as these are essential for preventing corruption and maintaining political stability.