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Africa Forum – Disruption and Innovation

Managing bribery and corruption in Africa: It's not as easy as ABC

Event date: 30/06/2016

Africa Forum – Disruption and Innovation

Issues of bribery and corruption in Africa represent one of the continent's most pressing challenges.  Six out of the bottom ten countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index from 2015 were African nations; President Zuma of South Africa has been engulfed by constitutional and corruption charges concerning his personal activities; and in Nigeria, despite the government having recovered $9.1 billion in stolen money and assets, much more still remains missing. Our Hogan Lovells Africa Forum dedicated an interactive session to share insights into the unique corruption risks that organisations face when doing business in Africa, as well as best practices for managing those risks.

Chaired by Crispin Rapinet, Partner and Head of our Global Investigations, White Collar and Fraud practice, our panellists engaged in a lively conversation, which covered their insights into and practical tips for managing the unique continental, regional and local risks of doing business in Africa, as well as their experience of enforcement trends across the continent. The panel comprised of Judith Poultney, an experienced Business Intelligence Manager at EY; Pedro Guimarães, a Partner at FCB Advogados in Lisbon whose work specialises in lusophone African countries, specifically Angola and Mozambique; Isha Johansen, the President of the Sierra Leone Football Association (only one of two female FA presidents in the world) and Bérengère Parmly, a French-American lawyer and Ethics and Compliance Officer at major international engineering and construction outfit, Bechtel Limited.

Our real-time polling data was almost as revealing as the discussion itself: 93% of our attendees felt anti-bribery and compliance efforts would be aided by an International Code of Best Practice, with 76% adding they have encountered issues of corruption in the region.  A smaller majority thought that anti-bribery and corruption remains a taboo subject in Africa, but the majority of our audience voted that high bribery and corruption risk would not put them off transacting in Africa.  It would seem, from our panel, heightened government activity in this area, alongside greater appreciation of local sensitivities, can give businesses optimism for African anti-bribery and corruption efforts.

For further information on our Africa Forum, our anti-bribery and corruption work in this area, or any other information related to this topic, please contact