BudgIT, Accountability Lab, and Other Civic Actors Attend the International Anti-Corruption Conference in Washington
The International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) is the world’s premier global forum for bringing together heads of state, civil society, the private sector, and others to address corruption’s increasingly sophisticated challenges. The IACC, which was founded in 1983, is held every two years in a different region and attracts 800 to 2000 participants from over 140 countries worldwide.
By raising awareness and stimulating debate, the IACC advances the anti-corruption agenda. It promotes networking, cross-pollination, and the global exchange of experience, all of which are necessary for effective global and national advocacy and action. The conferences promote international cooperation among government, civil society, the private sector, and citizens by providing face-to-face dialogue and direct liaison between representatives from participating agencies and organizations.
The event was sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation through BudgIT and the Accountability Lab to facilitate the attendance of leaders of civil society at the conference. It was held in December 2022 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC, with over 10,000 anti-corruption champions from over 180 countries in attendance, including 31 anti-corruption champion representatives from Nigeria. As stated on the website, “the MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks to build more just, verdant, and peaceful societies.”
The year’s theme is Uprooting Corruption and Defending Democratic Values. The event featured over 50 sessions that touched on corruption in the extractive sector, war crimes, and grand corruption. It examined how young people can come together to uproot corruption in their respective countries.
Nigerian representatives took advantage of the opportunity to network with state and non-state anti-corruption actors. The group held discussions with various Nigerian anti-corruption organizations and government agencies, including Prof. Bolaji Owansoye, chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission. In addition, they drafted a communiqué to express our displeasure with certain instances of corruption in Nigeria and the government’s response to them.
Rev. David Ugolor, Dr. Ubah, and Policy Alert’s Tijah Bolton-Akpan also presented sessions pertinent to examining corruption in the extractive sectors and the status of the fight against corruption in Nigeria. At the conclusion of the meetings, it was suggested that similar dialogues be held in Nigeria.
BudgIT hosted a post-event discussion in its USA office at the Open Gov Hub in Washington, DC, where all Nigerian representatives met to discuss the next steps and potential collaborations to eradicate corruption in Nigeria. Civic actors shared their backgrounds, some of their current efforts to combat corruption, and challenges and lessons learned at this event. See more pictures of participants at the event here.
Attendees agreed that the cost of corruption is too high to bear, and citizens will bear the brunt of the resulting economic hardship and suffering. The group proposes that the anti-corruption plan of civic actors be fully integrated into the agenda of Global South organizations, while also examining the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war and, finally, the need for global solidarity and peace.