Today, July 11, is the African Anti-Corruption Day. This year marks the sixth edition of the African Anti-Corruption
day. On this day in 2003, the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC) was
adopted in Maputo, Mozambique which came into effect in 2006 and has since then been ratified by 47 Member
States of the African Union including Sierra Leone.
The purpose of this day is to give prominence to the fight against corruption through the commemoration of the
adoption of the AUCPCC as a mechanism for fighting corruption in Africa.
This year, we commemorate the Day on the theme ‘Strategies and Mechanisms for the Transparent
Management of COVID- Funds’. Literature has shown that the COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health,
humanitarian or socio-economic crisis but it is also a governance issue as countries’ resilience on accountability have
been tested and hence the need for a rethinking of roles of accountability and transparency promoting institutions
and mechanisms so that they effectively support societies during pandemics. Since the pandemic started, media has
been awash with news of corruption, theft and mismanagement of funds as Governments responded to COVID-19.
Unfortunately, even Sierra Leone was not exempted.
However, the ACC-SL with support from their CSO partners has been able to decisively investigate cases related to
the mismanagement of COVID-19 funds and resources meant for combating the pandemic. They acted swiftly on the
COVID-19 Audit Report in 2020 released by the Audit Service Sierra Leone, which highlighted issues of misuse and
mismanagement of COVID-19 funds and other resources meant for combating the pandemic. In the process, the
Commission was able to recover huge funds and other assets, while also recommending for administrative sanctions
to be taken against public officials found culpable. We wish to register our appreciation to the Government and
People of Sierra Leone for their sustained efforts towards the fight against corruption.
Remarkably also, Sierra Leone has made tremendous gains in the fight against corruption as the country currently
records 83 percent in the ‘Control of Corruption’ indicator in the Millennium Challenge Corporation Scorecard and
115 out of 180 countries surveyed in the 2021 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI). The
ACC has also in the last four years, recovered public funds over 35 Billion Leones ($USD 3M), a two-storey hotel
building and two Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles from corrupt individuals as part of the Commission’s Non-conviction
based Asset Recovery approach.
Let us on this day reflect on the true damaging consequences of corruption not only our nation but Africa as a whole.
It is a threat to the progress and development of citizens and the country as a whole especially at this crucial time.
Therefore, ACC and TI-SL call on ALL Sierra Leonean to act robustly against this menace by speaking up against
corruption, report any suspected acts of corruption to the ACC and embrace integrity, transparency and
accountability in public and private life.
Francis Ben Kaifala Esq. Lavina Banduah (Mrs.)
Commissioner, ACC-SL Executive Director, TI-SL