Arusha — The African Union Advisory Board on Anti-corruption (AU-ABC) has expressed its dismay over the rampant cases of corruption on the continent.
It has pointed accusing fingers at financial banks in Europe, especially Swiss banks, where some of the stolen money is stashed, blaming the banks for not exposing the culprits.
"Many leaders in Africa condone corruption in their countries simply because they also engage in the malpractice," pointed out the AU-ABC chairman, Dr Edward Hoseah, on Monday.
He was addressing the board's members who have gathered here to prepare their annual report which is to be presented next month at the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.According to Dr Hoseah, Africa loses more than 148 billion US dollars every year in a series of corruption cases but even worse, the perpetuators of canker transfer their loot from the continent to banks based in the developed world.
"And yet it is the same Developed Nations that encourage money stolen from Africa and hidden in their banks who also preach to us about transparency and good governance," Dr Hosea quipped.
The high-ranking official of Africa's anti-corruption watchdog, who also heads the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) in Tanzania, explained that there should be special efforts and mechanisms in place, to ensure that the money stashed away in secretive banks in Switzerland and other countries be brought back to Africa.
Dr Hosea revealed that Africa as a continent has been losing billions of dollars through corruption annually.Citing the African Development Bank's (AfDB) recent report, Dr Hosea pointed out that "It is estimated that 50 per cent of tax revenue and 30 billion US dollars in aid for Africa ended up in graft-based dubious transactions."
"The scenario has not changed as some African leaders have turned themselves into 'thieves in government houses,' while petty corruption continues to ravage the continent," Dr Hosea said.
Earlier, UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Alberic Kacou, hailed the AU for its efforts in fighting corruption through its various instruments and bodies including the African Court for Human Rights and the AU Convention for Preventing and Combating Corruption and related offences.