Egyptian President Inaugurates African Anti-Corruption Forum
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi urged African states to intensify joint efforts for fighting corruption and changing the reality of the continent which can only be achieved through concerted efforts, developing common visions, and boosting African coordination mechanisms to curb corruption.
Sisi was speaking during the opening session of the African Anti-Corruption Forum (AACF) held in Egypt's Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh.
It is the continent’s first anti-corruption forum and is being held on 12-13 June with the participation of 51 African countries and 4 Arab countries as guests of honor: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Jordan.
"Egypt also welcomes cooperation with its African brothers and the African Union (AU) relevant bodies to exchange the best practices in this field,” Sisi told the attendees. He also affirmed the importance of deepening international cooperation with the main partners of Africa at various levels to achieve the desired benefit in this regard.
During the opening session, the Forum’s management presented figures issued by the UN estimating the cost of corruption in Africa to be at $148 billion a year, $50 billion of which comes from illegal financial flows, noting that corruption remains an obstacle to the achievement of the development Agenda 2063.
Sisi reviewed Egypt’s national efforts in fighting corruption saying the country has come a long way in the past years in various forms and has been concerned with conducting research, studies, and opinion polls in order to track the causes of corruption and identify real measurements for it.
Egypt has been committed to the principle of fighting corruption within the framework of the Egyptian constitution, according to Sisi.
This forced relevant regulatory bodies and authorities to “coordinate, enhance values of integrity and transparency, ensure preservation of public money, achieve good management of it, and organize benefiting from it for the interest of the people in the first place.”
Sisi told the Forum that Egypt has enacted and activated legislations to combat corruption in all its forms, and also established the National Coordinating Committee to Combat Corruption and the National Anti-Corruption Academy.
He stressed that his country is committed to international standards and has joined relevant UN, African and Arab conventions, most recently the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, which is considered the main legal document for the African continent to fight corruption.
"In addition, specialized departments have been created to combat financial and administrative corruption, and take digital transformation measures to enhance administrative and financial governance and help eliminate bureaucracy," the president added.
Sisi pledged that Egypt would continue to support joint efforts to combat corruption at the African level, including doubling the training grants provided by the National Anti-Corruption Academy for the cadres of African law enforcement bodies.
"We also affirm the importance of deepening international cooperation with the main partners of Africa at various levels, to achieve the desired benefit in this regard."
Since assuming the rotating presidency of the AU in February, Egypt had been organizing remarkable initiatives and activities that consolidate the role of Cairo in the continent, most recently the first AACF.
Egypt and Russia are also preparing for the first Russian-African summit to be held in Sochi in October under the joint presidency of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egypt's Sisi.
Preparations for the presidency of the AU were initiated by Cairo last December when Sharm El-Sheikh, in cooperation with the COMESA Regional Investment Agency, hosted the Africa 2018 Conference, at the presence of a number of heads of state, representatives of Egypt's development partners, businessmen, investors and high-profile figures from Egypt, Africa and all over the world to encourage investment in the African continent.