GABORONE, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The 7th African Union (AU) high level dialogue on democracy, human rights and governance in Africa concluded on Friday with a call for strengthening state-citizen partnership in the fight against corruption.
The high level dialogue, which began on Wednesday in Botswana's capital city of Gaborone, underscored the need to create an environment to enhance citizen participation, budgeting, planning and utilization of public resources.
Minata Samate Cessouma, the AU commissioner for political affairs, said in her closing remarks that the high level dialogue was successful with major decisions that would go a long way in helping the continent achieve its short, medium and long term goals and prosperity of Africa.
"In terms of natural resources, Africa is the richest continent across the world. Yet paradoxically, Africa is home to the poorest populations globally. And it has become a common knowledge that corruption is the catalyst to Africa's lack of progress," she said.
Cessouma underscored the substance of the high level dialogue's outcome with a potential to avail adequate resources and build the technical knowhow of the corruption busting institutions.
According to Cessouma, the high level dialogue mainly stressed Africa's need to "align development financing, investment, trade and debt to effectively respond to the gender development goals set out in the national and continental policies and normative frameworks."
She said African governments should ensure the development of access to information legislation in all member states.
Slumber Tsogwane, Botswana's vice president, also said that "Africa should not shy away from admitting its vulnerability and collectively demonstrating political will in taking stern action towards its eradication."
"Corruption has been pronounced by many, as the key catalyst in economic underperformance in Africa," he said.