Nelson Mandela

I dream of an Africa which is in peace with itself.- Nelson Mandela

Importance of Parliaments in eliminating corruption

December 9, 2012


On the 9th of December governments, international organizations, NGO’s and activists around the world will raise public awareness on corruption and the role of governments in combating and preventing it.  Since 2003 this day has been recognized as an International day against corruption.

AWEPA supports the United Nations in the Act Against Corruption Campaign in promoting the MDGs, since corruption and poor governance is a major obstacle in accomplishing sustainable development in a country.
AWEPA focuses on the strengthening of African Parliaments in their democratization processes and capacity building. For a long time focus on Parliaments as the solution for development achievements has not been seen as a priority by development partners. The significance of governance for development and poverty reduction is not fully acknowledged. Until now relatively little attention has been paid to the elected representatives in the parliaments of developing countries and how they can play a vital role in achieving these goals. When governments fail to govern either due to low capacity, lacking the resources or not being responsible by victimizing society with corruption and mismanagement then the MDGs ‘are bound to fall short’ ( Sachs & McArthur 2005: 349) . Therefore cooperation with the parliamentarians in fighting corruption is of great significance in attaining the MDGs.

However, the MDGs are still deemed to be achievable, but good governance is a necessity to achieve the set objectives. Unfortunately in the process of policy formulation and implementation, there is a striking lack of systematic engagement of elected representatives of the affected populations. African parliamentarians face the daunting task of providing oversight of legislation, policies and development funds towards the MDGs without access to research on policy impacts, information on budgets allocations and foreign aid flows.

Furthermore, when fighting against corruption within (governmental) institutions, donors will maximize the scope and effectiveness in achieving the MDGs. More oversight, regulations, monitoring and transparency on the practices of parliamentarians and the institutions which they are working in will mean that that there can be more accountability on the whole development process which will also have its positive effects.
Another case which is of importance in supporting sustainable development for African countries has to do with managing natural resources as many African countries have abundance in natural resources. Concerning this issue corruption is a major obstacle to overcome. Furthermore, improved governance and preventing corruption is essential for an  equitable distribution of wealth originating from natural  resources and the protection of  the poor and most vulnerable, and thus to attain the Millennium Development Goals.

For more information on this issue you can view the Seminar “Managing Africa’s Natural Resources Towards Achieving the MDGs” where the accompanied documents on this issue are included in the article.