ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- As the African Union (AU) designated 2018 the African anti-corruption year at its 30th summit in Addis Ababa, and focused on fighting corruption, a senior official Friday urged African countries to learn from China's experience in fighting graft.
"Whenever you are dealing with countries that have been successful in development, you have something to learn from them," said Emmanuel Nnadozie, executive secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the AU's specialized agency for capacity development.
"They must have been doing things right, including not only investing in people and physical capital but also making sure there is accountability, transparency and little or no corruption. China, in that regard, would have some lessons that African countries can benefit from," Nnadozie said.
The official told Xinhua on the sidelines of the summit that the Chinese authorities "were able to put in place institutions that ensured the laws were obeyed, enforcement was installed, and strategies and plans were implemented fully."
Speaking of African countries' anti-corruption law enforcement deficiencies, Nnadozie urged the continent to strengthen the implementation of polices, laws and procedure. African countries also need to strengthen their executive and judiciary's capabilities to eliminate or reduce corruption, he said.
"In addition to ... incentives to encourage good behavior, it is also important to put strong enforcement mechanisms (to demonstrate) that nobody is above the law," he said.
Nnadozie asked for politics to be kept out while battling corruption: "If people politicize the fight against corruption, they may loss the battle even before it starts."
Since Africa has a burgeoning youth population, who are the future of the continent, Africa must work on their mindsets through education if it wants to end corruption and mal-administration, he said.
The ACBF stresses that effectively fighting corruption will help Africa optimize investment in the skills revolution that will facilitate accelerated and sustainable transformation.
The AU's anti-corruption move comes as China recently announced that it hopes to strengthen cooperation with African countries to promote a new international anti-corruption order.
Yang Xiaodu, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, expressed China's desire to work with South Africa to fight corruption in his meeting with South African Minister of Public Service and Administration Faith Muthambi in November.
Yang, who is also deputy secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said the CPC will continue to enhance Party self-governance and ensure decisive success of its anti-corruption endeavors.
Nnadozie said the fight against corruption needs to be the top target in Africa and African leaders need to prioritize the fight.
Effective anti-corruption measures, as well as implementing the existing regulations, laws and procedures, are important to create an Africa where corruption is unacceptable, he said.
The 30th AU summit, themed "Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa's Transformation", kicked off on Jan. 22 and will end on Monday.