The African Governance Architecture (AGA) Secretariat organised a Regional Youth Consultation for West and Central Africa in Dakar, Senegal, from 5-7 September 2018 under the theme “Leveraging youth capacities for the fight against corruption”.
2018 was declared the year of combatting corruption, a sustainable path to Africa’s transformation. The AGA built on this and therefore decided to work with the youth in leveraging their capacities for the fight against corruption.
A number of panel discussions were done on the theme amongst which were: assessment of anti-corruption normative and institutional frameworks at the global, continental, regional and national levels; young people turning the tide on corruption in West and Central Africa; building collective consciousness through music for the fight against corruption; strategies that have worked in the fight against corruption: lessons from the front lines, amongst others.
Violet Fokum of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa (CHRDA) intervened on the last panel on lessons that have worked. She presented the present Cameroonian crisis building on its main cause which is political corruption- marginalization in human resource development and deployment, inequitable distribution of administrative posts, marginalisation of the anglophones and their patrimony, and exploitation of their natural resources.
These have led to years of accumulated discontent and anger which resulted to the 2016 peaceful strike by lawyers and teachers then later to the present situation where we are witnessing serious human rights violations, arson, killings, IDPs and gender based violence against women. The importance of that meeting, she recalled, was to build on Cameroon as a failed case study where corruption has been inadequately managed. She asserted that such corrupt practices in Cameroon often lead to serious human rights violations.
At the end of the consultation, it was agreed that the fight against corruption cannot be successful without including the youths who are the leaders of today and future of tomorrow. The process must be inclusive, involving everyone from the grassroots. The government must also be seen as a partner and not an enemy in the struggle against corruption.