Addressing Kleptocracy in Central Africa

On February 17th and 18th, 2022, leaders and decision-makers from the European Union and the African Union will gather in Brussels for the sixth EU-AU summit, where they will discuss how to further the partnership between the two continents and address global challenges. Missing from the agenda, however, is addressing one of the most pressing issues on the African continent: the rampant kleptocracy that has taken hold in many countries, particularly in Central Africa, that has put billions of dollars in the pockets of elites at the cost of leaving millions of citizens in poverty and without access to basic services. The EU, where kleptocrats often keep and spend their money, plays a significant role in perpetuating a system that allows kleptocracies to thrive in Africa and elsewhere.

Welcome to the #Kleptolands

Central Africa is the region with the highest concentration of authoritarian kleptocratic regimes in the world. These countries have a wealth of resources, the profits from which should have lifted millions out of poverty and improved lives across the region. Instead, the money is pocketed by a small group of powerful elites – leaders, politicians, businesspeople, and their families – who have amassed absurd amounts of wealth at the expense of the citizens they are meant to serve.

To coincide with the EU-AU summit, OCA is releasing short video stories about the effects of kleptocracy in each of these countries in the hopes that they will spark conversations and inspire citizens to act.

Kleptocracies will not be dismantled overnight, but action from above and below may convince these governments to finally do their jobs and invest in improving the lives of their citizens.