Pillar 3

Democracy, rule of law and human rights

Click here to download the full draft (as at January 2017, PDF, 1.3 MB).

Where are we now? Where do we want to go?

It is the state's job to put in place the right conditions to attract private investment. That also ensures that such investments benefit all the people in a country, not just the elites. Many people in Africa are suffering from inadequacies in the rule of law, exclusion from the political process, inefficient administrative structures and corruption. Every year, Africa loses over 50 billion US dollars through illicit financial flows, draining those countries' economies of vital capital (Final Report of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa of the AU/UN, 2015).

That is equal to flows of Official Development Assistance. Trust in government institutions is lower in Africa than anywhere else in the world. Of course, there are other, more positive examples. Rwanda, for instance, has made great strides in its fight against corruption, thanks in part to Germany's support on modernising local administrative structures and building up monitoring systems together with civil society.

The aim is "an Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law". (Agenda 2063)

Percentage of GDP lost to illicit financial flows
Enlarge imagegallery2_28819532

Percentage of GDP lost to illicit financial flows

What needs to happen?


  • All African governments implement the AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the UN Convention against Corruption
  • All African states support the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights
  • Permit submission of individual complaints to African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights
  • Ensure poor sections of the population also have access to independent courts
  • Strengthen legal certainty and the fight against impunity
  • Modernise administrative structures (efficiency, transparency, accountability)
  • Cut red tape – particularly for the registration of new businesses
  • Recruit civil servants based on aptitude, performance and skills
  • Pay civil servants competitive wages so as to prevent corruption
  • Strengthen transparency in the extractive sector and in public procurement
  • Establish systems of civil records and land registers
  • Strengthen property rights
  • Ensure civil society is able to develop freely
  • Repeal laws banning NGOs
  • Enforce human rights for all, including minorities
  • Further develop the African Peer Review Mechanism for the implementation of the Agenda 2063
  • Use the AU Assembly to discuss progress on the Agenda 2063
  • Implement Addis Ababa Action Agenda:
    - increase tax ratio
    - broaden tax base
    - improve revenue administration
    - close tax loopholes


  • Tie Official Development Assistance to progress on the goals of Agenda 2063 (reform partnerships)
  • Make our development cooperation instruments more flexible
  • Shorten the planning and implementation phase of development interventions
  • Create new incentive systems to mobilise counterpart funds (e.g. providing more official development funding when countries generate more tax revenues)
  • Talk straight with those opposed to reform rather than showing diplomatic restraint
  • Provide more support to young elites growing into positions of authority through political foundations; expand the German-African Youth Initiative into a type of a ERASMUS programme with Africa and promote youth exchange


  • Stop illicit financial flows and aggressive tax avoidance and evasion
  • Increase automatic exchange of information on tax matters
  • Implement the G20/OECD action plan on base erosion and profit shifting by multinationals
  • Ensure and monitor adherence to international standards on corporate sustainability, transparency and tax honesty; increase application of UN Global Compact in Africa
  • G20 commit to design activities in Africa in a way that promotes rule of law and transparency and ensures that value is created in Africa, particularly through use of domestic workforce
  • Make it easier in particular for scientists, artists, journalists and human rights activists to obtain visas
  • Expand the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and the G7 CONNEX Initiative, which provides advice on contract negotiations
  • Assist African countries in mobilising financial resources of their own; extend the Addis Tax Initiative to other countries
  • Launch an international investment drive for e-governance and/or digitalisation of administrative processes – with Africa, international donors and technology companies

continue to Chapter 4

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