The African Union has declared 2018 as the African Anti-Corruption Year, during the opening day of the 30th Assembly of Head of State and Government in Addis Ababa.

Carrying out the declaration made at the 29th Assembly, this year’s summit will be held under the theme: “Winning the fight against corruption: A sustainable path to Africa’s transformation.” Addressing the ongoing issue of corruption, the AU encouraged all members of society to, ‘curb corruption which is a major societal flaw causing setbacks in the socio-economic and political development of the continent.’

Acknowledging the continent’s sustained level of growth over the past two decades, the AU addressed the need to fight, ‘the inequality fostered by corruption,’ and to ‘clearly illustrate the firm commitment of African leaders to entrench a culture of the rule of law and good governance.’

The AU’s decision to brand 2018 as the year of anti-corruption comes 15 years after launching its internal anti-corruption bureau known as the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC).

Established in July 1999, the African Union was forged from the progress made by the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which was created 36 years earlier at a conference hosted in the Ethiopian capital. Today, the AU has 55 members states and continues to strive for, “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena.”