ADDIS ABABA, Africa must get rid of the burden of corruption weighing on the lives of millions of its people — women, men and the young, African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat has said.

Calling on the AU Member States, regional economic communities, civil society organizations together with citizens, AU organs and all other stakeholders to work together against corruption in 2018 and beyond, Mahamat said that the burden of corruption particularly affects the poor and marginalized groups in the African society.

According to a press communique dispatched by the Commission’s Directorate of Information and Communication to PANA, the Chairperson said the African Union policy making organs have given a strong push forward in our collective efforts towards a peaceful and secure Africa, by declaring 2018 the African Anti-Corruption Year.”

On the theme of 2018, ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’, he said it recalls the scope of Aspiration 3 of Agenda 2063 for Africa’s Transformation that “seeks to instill a universal culture of good governance, democratic values, gender equality, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law, while Aspiration 4 recognizes that these values/ principles are necessary preconditions for a peaceful and conflict-free continent.”

“Indeed, corruption kills, Mahamat has stated in the concept note on the AU theme of the year.

He noted that corruption has become endemic and it affects people’s daily lives from poorly built roads, to unequal access to healthcare and medicine, to crime and violence in communities and across borders, to political choices distorted by money and greed among other social ills.

As a prelude to the 30th AU Summit scheduled to take place on Jan 22-29 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the 10th AU Gender Pre-Summit is set to discuss the ‘Impact of Corruption on Women’s Empowerment and Related Issues’.

It will also focus on the AU’s gender multi-stakeholder policy platforms with a view to re-define them in accordance with the imperatives of Agenda 2063 and the proposals in the report of the AU Reforms by Rwandan President Paul Kagame.