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Secretary of State John Kerry announces $2.5 million pilot anti-corruption project in West Africa

US Secretary of State John Kerry announced a $2.5 million anti-corruption project in West Africa during the 2013 Open Government Partnership Annual Summit. Partners will implement the program in Nigeria and Sierra Leone in collaboration with local partners and global experts.

Secretary of State John Kerry announces $2.5 million pilot anti-corruption project in West Africa

Sec. John Kerry announces anti-corruption project on live link at OGP Summit in London

On October 31st, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a $2.5 million pilot anti-corruption project in West Africa during the 2013 Open Government Partnership (OGP) Annual Summit in London. Partners will implement the program in Nigeria and Sierra Leone in collaboration with partners based in those countries, including the CLEEN Foundation, Campaign for Good Governance, and BudgIT. We will also draw on global expertise from the Partners affiliate network and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. 

Together, the Accountable Governance for Justice and Security (AGJS) team will build more accountable institutions in Nigeria and Sierra Leone by enhancing institutional transparency and preventing impunity for those who engage in corruption and transnational organized crime. The program is funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law and Enforcement Affairs (INL) and is a deliverable of the West Africa Cooperative Security Initiative (WACSI). The program will also further the capacity of African countries to implement the principles of the OGP and the UN Convention against Corruption. It builds on Partners’ rich and unique experience working with diverse stakeholders around the world to develop more open and effective justice and security sectors.

The AGJS team understands that places where government structures have struggled to establish a meaningful and credible presence serve as ideal environments for criminal networks to establish themselves. Once rooted, these networks eventually become harder to upend as they begin to undermine nascent government institutions. They often provide the public services that the government has failed to, or they directly assault governmental effectiveness by encouraging corruption and impeding the development of rule of law. In this way, poor governance and transnational organized crime are mutually reinforcing challenges, each hindering the development of stable democratic institutions. Consequently, AGJS’s efforts must tackle both weak governance and transnational organized crime.

The comprehensive strategy of the AGJS program includes traditional approaches such as promoting the implementation of freedom of information laws and training and support for investigative journalists. It also introduces innovative methods such as ICT-based data collection and dissemination solutions, and promotes a network of “best practices sharing” and peer learning in the region. The AGJS team will address transparency and accountability issues within the justice and security sectors from a variety of angles with a view towards measurable impact and long-term sustainability.

For more on the program, download our two-page program description.

You can find Sec. Kerry's remarks here.

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