Johannesburg, 8 October 2018: Uncovering of corrupt cases in Southern Africa by the media has been touted by the African Union Southern Africa Regional Office (AUSARO) as one of the tools to detest the scourge in the continent.
Speaking during the opening of a workshop on “Reporting Corruption through Investigative Journalism” in Johannesburg, South Africa, African Union Regional Delegate to Southern Africa Dr. Leopold Auguste Ngomo said that the media has an important role to play in uncovering corrupt acts through investigative reporting.
Ngomo said, “Despite the fact that corruption is spurning growth of the continent, the media is entrusted with the role of bringing to light corruption cases through investigative reporting that can help add to evidence in persecution of such issues.”
According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the continent is losing $148 billion annually through various corrupt activities.
The Global Financial Integrity (GFI) further reports that between $50 billion to $ 80 billion is being siphoned annually due to illicit financial flaws which is further propelling global crime and tax evasion.
Ironically, the trend continues to skyrocket despite the continent instituting rigorous legal frameworks at continental and national levels.
On his behalf, Mauritius Weekly Newspaper editor-in-chief Touria Prayag said that institutional setups to ensure checks and balances have been perverted through dubious nominations of family members and cronies who are tasked in “making sure that those in power and their protégés in the private sector are never guilty of any corrupt practices.”
The five-day long workshop organised by the AU-SARO aims at enhancing journalist’s ability to unearthing corrupt activities in public and private institutions in Southern Africa. It is also a move to popularise the Anti-Corruption drive in Africa as coined by African Heads of State and Government to declare 2018 a year of Combatting Corruption.