To get a better appreciation of this Tracker, it is  important to understand certain terms that shall be referred to in this Tracker. 

 

Accede/Accession: ‘Accession’ is a demonstration shown by a State agreeing to be legally bound by the terms and conditions of a particular treaty. 

 

It binds the same way, ratification binds a State. The major difference with ratification is that it is not preceded by an act of signature. The formal procedure for accession differs according to the national legal and policy requirements of the State. 

 

To accede to a treaty, a State Party follows its domestic approval procedures and makes a formal decision to be a party to the treaty. 

Then, the instrument of accession is prepared and deposited with the relevant authority such as the AU, SADC, and United Nations Secretary-General

Adoption: ‘Adoption’ is the formal acceptance of the form and content of a proposed treaty text. It is important to note that treaties are first negotiated and the processes is loaded with arguments. However, at the end, acceptance of the form and content thereof is made by  a resolution 

Article: Articles in a treaty lay out obligations of State Parties choosing to be bound. However, these international legal instruments start with a Preamble which states the justification for the instrument..

Deposit: After a treaty has been concluded, State Parties put their commitments in writing providing formal evidence of their consent to be bound. These formal written commitments are placed in the custody of a depository such as the Secretary-General of the United Nations as their depository with reference to Article 71 of the UNCAC.

Domesticate: To domesticate an international treaty, means to give it the force of law in a country which amends the domestic laws of that country, or incorporates the treaty into the domestic laws of the country

Entry into Force: It is important to note from the outset that a treaty does not enter into force when it is first adopted. Typically, the treaty itself determines or shows  the date on which the treaty enters into force, often at a specified time following its ratification or accession by a fixed  number of states. For instance Article 68 of the UNCAC states that the Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the thirtieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

Treaty: A ‘treaty’ is a formally concluded and ratified agreement between States. Generally it refers to instruments binding at international law, concluded between international entities (States or organizations). However, a treaty must meet the following ingredients (1) a binding instrument, which creates legal rights and duties; (2) concluded by states or international organizations that have treaty-making powers; (3) governed by international law and (4) put in writing

  

.ACT-SA tracks progress by SADC Member States in terms of signing and ratifying three main anti-corruption treaties: AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC),SADC Protocol against Corruption (SPAC) and the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC)  

 

The tracking was launched in 2007 wherein ACT-SA monitored progress by 16 SADC Member States towards the signing and ratification  of the (UNCAC, AUCPCC) and the SPAC. 

 

Instrument/Treaty

Description

AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC)

The AUCPCC was adopted by the 2nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union Maputo on the 11th of July 2003 and entered into force on the 5th of August 2006.

SADC Protocol against Corruption (SPAC).

The SADC Protocol Against Corruption aims to promote and strengthen the development, within each Member State, of mechanisms needed to prevent, detect, punish and eradicate corruption in the public and private sector. It also facilitates and regulates cooperation in matters of corruption amongst Member States and fosters development and harmonization of policies and domestic legislation related to corruption. On the 31st of August 2016, the SPAC was amended to make a provision for the establishment of a Committee (including its name) to oversee the implementation of the protocol as well as to put in place the reporting structure of the committee.

UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC),

The UNCAC is a landmark, international anti-corruption treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly in October 2003. It represents a remarkable achievement and commitment to fight corruption. The Convention covers five main areas: preventive measures, criminalization and law enforcement, international cooperation, asset recovery, and technical assistance and information exchange. The Convention covers many different forms of corruption, such as bribery, trading in influence, abuse of functions, and various acts of corruption in the private sector.

Progress Towards the Signature and Ratification of the SADC Protocol against Corruption

The Table below shows that Comoros, Seychelles and Madagascar are still lagging behind in terms of signing and ratifying the Protocol. Comoros recently joined the SADC block and has neither signed nor ratified the same, whilst Seychelles and Madagascar are still lagging behind despite being among the oldest members of the SADC. 

 

 

Country

Date of signing

Date of Ratification, Acceptance (A), Approval (AA), Accession (a), Succession (d)

Angola Flag 

Angola

14 August 2001

17 July 2005

Botswana Flag 

Botswana

14 August 2001

14 August 2001

 Comoros

Comoros

Not signed

Not ratified

 DRC Flag

Democratic Republic of Congo

14 August 2001

19 May 2008

 Lesotho Flag

Lesotho

14 August 2001

29 July 2003

 Madagascar Flag

Madagascar

Not signed

Not ratified

 Malawi Flag

Malawi

14 August 2001

2 September 2002

 Mauritius Flag

Mauritius

14 August 2001

4 January 2002

 Mozambique Flag

Mozambique

14 August 2001

28 December 2007

 Namibia Flag

Namibia

14 August 2001

23 June 2005

 Seychelles

Seychelles

14 August 2001

Not ratified

 South Africa

South Africa

14 August 2001

15 May 2003

 Kingdom of Eswatini Flag

Eswatini

14 August 2001

1 August 2006

 United Republic of Tanzania Flag

Tanzania

14 August 2001

20 August 2003

 Zambia Flag

Zambia

14 August 2001

8 July 2003

 Zimbabwe Flag

Zimbabwe

14 August 2001

8 October 2004

The Table below shows that Comoros, Madagascar and Seychelles are still lagging behind in terms of the ratification of the SPAC. 

 

 

Country

Date of Signature

Date of Ratification, Acceptance (A), Approval (AA), Accession (a), Succession (d)

 Comoros

Comoros

Not signed

Not ratified

 Madagascar Flag

Madagascar

Not signed

Not ratified

 Seychelles

Seychelles

14 August 2001

Not ratified

Progress Towards the Signature and Ratification of the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption

 

As at the 14th of February 2023 the Convention had been signed and ratified by 49 and 48  AU Member States respectively with the still lagging behind:

 

Country

Date of Signature

Date of Ratification / Accession

Date deposited

Central African Rep

not signed

not ratified

no deposits

Botswana

not signed

14/05/2014 

19/08/2014

Cape Verde

not signed

not ratified

no deposits

Djibouti 

15/11/2005

not ratified

no deposits

Eritrea 

25/04/2012

not ratified

no deposits

Malawi

not signed

26/11/2007 

27/12/2007

Morocco

not signed

24/02/2022 

18/04/2022

Seychelles

not signed

01/06/2008

17/06/2008

Somalia

23/02/2006

not ratified

no deposits

South Sudan

24/01/201

not ratified

no deposits

Eswatini

07/12/2004

not ratified

no deposits

The Table below gives detailed information on progress made by SADC Member States vis-a-vis the signing and ratification of the Convention.

 

 

Country

Date of Signature

Date of Ratification / Accession

Date deposited

 Angola Flag

Angola

22/01/2007

20/12/2017

25/01/2018

 Botswana Flag

Botswana

Not signed since the launch of the tracker in 2007

14/05/2014

19/08/2014

 Comoros

Comoros

26/02/2004

02/04/2004

16/04/2004

 DRC Flag

Democratic Republic of Congo

05/12/2003

Had not ratified in 2007

 

Finally ratified on 03/02/2022

23/02/2022

 Lesotho Flag

Lesotho

27/02/2004

26/10/2004

05/11/2004

 Madagascar Flag

Madagascar

28/02/2004

06/10/2004

09/02/2005

 Malawi Flag

Malawi

Not signed since 2007 when ACT-SA launched the Tracker

26/11/2007

27/12/2007

 Mozambique Flag

Mozambique

15/12/2003

02/08/2006

24/10/2006

 Mauritius Flag

Mauritius

06/07/2004

04/05/2018

26/08/2019

 Namibia Flag

Namibia

09/12/2003

05/08/2004

26/08/2004

 South Africa

South Africa

16/03/2004

11/11/2005

07/12/2005

 Seychelles

Seychelles

Not signed since 2007 when ACT-SA launched the Tracker

01/06/2008

17/06/2008

 Kingdom of Eswatini Flag

Eswatini

07/12/2004

Not ratified since 2007 when ACT-SA launched the Tracker

-no deposits made

 United Republic of Tanzania Flag

Tanzania

05/11/2003

22/02/2005

12/04/2005

 Zambia Flag

Zambia

03/08/2003

30/03/2007

26/04/2007

 Zimbabwe Flag

Zimbabwe

18/11/2003

17/12/2006

28/02/2007

Source: African Union Advisory Board on Corruption (2023) African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption. [online] Available at http://www.auanticorruption.org/uploads/36382-sl-AFRICAN_UNION_CONVENTION_ON_PREVENTING_AND_COMBATING_CORRUPTION.pdf

 

Eswatini  is the only SADC Member State yet to ratify the African AUCPCC. 

 

Progress Towards the Signature and Ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption

 

According to information provided by the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (2020), all the 16 SADC Member States ratified the UNCAC as shown in the  Table below. However, Botswana and DRC chose to ratify before signing.

 

 

Country

Signature

Ratification, Acceptance (A), Approval (AA), Accession (a), Succession (d)

  Botswana Flag

Angola

10 Dec 2003

29 Aug 2006

 Botswana Flag

Botswana

Not signed

27 Jun 2011 a

 Comoros

Comoros

10 Dec 2003

11 Oct 2012

 DRC Flag

Democratic Republic of Congo

Not signed

23 Sep 2010 a

 Kingdom of Eswatini Flag

Eswatini

15 Sep 2005

24 Sep 2012

 Lesotho Flag

Lesotho

16 Sep 2005

16 Sep 2005

 Madagascar Flag

Madagascar

10 Dec 2003

22 Sep 2004

 Malawi Flag

Malawi

21 Sep 2004

4 Dec 2007

  Mauritius Flag

Mauritius

9 Dec 2003

15 Dec 2004

  Mozambique Flag

Mozambique

25 May 2004

9 Apr 2008

 Namibia Flag

Namibia

9 Dec 2003

3 Aug 2004

 Seychelles

Seychelles

27 Feb 2004

16 Mar 2006

 South Africa

South Africa

9 Dec 2003

22 Nov 2004

 United Republic of Tanzania Flag

United Republic of Tanzania

9 Dec 2003

25 May 2005

 Zambia Flag

Zambia

11 Dec 2003

7 Dec 2007

Zimbabwe Flag 

Zimbabwe

20 Feb 2004

8 Mar 2007

Source: UNODC (2023) Signature and Ratification Status. [online] Available at Ratification status (unodc.org). [Accessed on 8 March 2024]

 

ACT-SA Recommendations

ACT-SA makes the following recommendations to some SADC Member States:

 

Recommendations to the Government of Comoros

The Government of Comoros as a new member of the SADC should consider both signing and ratifying the SADC Protocol against Corruption

 

Recommendations to the Government of Madagascar

The Government of Madagascar should consider both signing and ratifying the SADC Protocol against Corruption

 

Recommendations to the Government of Seychelles

The Government of Seychelles should ratify the SADC Protocol against Corruption.

 

Recommendations to the Government of Eswatini

The Government of the Eswatini should ratify the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption

 

Recommendations to all SADC Member States

  • All SADC Member States are urged to domesticate and implement through policy and institutional reform the anti-corruption treaties that they have signed and ratified. 
  • All SADC Member States should sign the UNCAC Transparency Pledge.

Recommendations to Civil Society Organisations

  • Monitoring state implementation of the treaties
  • Giving technical support to SADC Member States