AFRICOM IG Participation in Anti-Corruption Seminars in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Republic of Congo

Richard Ridgway, U.S. AFRICOM deputy inspector general wrote

I recently participated in two Anti-Corruption seminars held in Matadi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, and I came away with the strong feeling that we have committed partners in those countries who share our beliefs and goals in promoting ethics in government. These programs were sponsored and led by the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS) and coordinated through our respective embassies. DIILS included the Inspector General subjects in the program in order to stimulate discussion on the use of preventive mechanisms to combat public corruption.

Other portions of the program dealt with legal framework for fighting corruption, ethics programs for public employees, and the investigation and prosecution of public corruption, among other topics. The DIILS teaching materials purposely focus on U.S. examples and experiences, both good and bad. The host nations were invited to teach sessions on their legal approaches and experiences in fighting public corruption, and both DRC and Congo provided comprehensive lectures that generated many questions and spirited comments from the attendees.

The programs were successful by every indicator. The material was timely as both DRC and Congo have established national and provincial Anti-Corruption Commissions to address problems in both the government and the private sectors. The participants universally praised the program and would like to receive more training in the future. In particular, the participants asked for additional case studies of corruption in developing countries (especially when it involves high-level officials) and how such corruption has been resolved as part of future seminars.

I’m thankful that DIILS invited me to be a member of their team, and I’m hopeful that the AFRICOM Inspector General Office will have more opportunities in the future to engage with our partners in DRC and Republic of Congo.

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