Nigerien authorities collaborate with UNODC in their fight against corruption

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Corruption in the Sahel is both a cause and a consequence of a range of criminal activities. As the guardian of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), UNODC frequently assists governments in their anti-corruption efforts. In this context, UNODC's Regional Office in West and Central Africa collaborated with Niger's official anti-corruption body, the Haute Autorité de Lutte contre la Corruption et les Infractions Assimilées (HALCIA), in order to provide a series of training workshops to HALCIA's staff, police officers and various key stakeholders.

The first workshop, which took place the 5-6 May 2015 in Niamey, aimed at improving internal operating procedures related to complaint filing and information treatment within HALCIA. The second workshop, on 7-11 May, focused on training curricula related to corruption investigation and prevention practices. UNODC coordinator in Niger, Ms. Sonia Rigaud, explained that the workshops' objective was to "internalize [UNODC] recommendations in order to speed up procedures while improving transparency and flexibility". International experts specializing in fraud and corruption auditing supported both workshops by providing inputs on making administrative processes more efficient.

HALCIA's President with the workshop participants
HALCIA's President with the workshop participants

These events are part of a collaborative process, ongoing for several years, between the Nigerien government and UNODC. In November 2013, the latter conducted an evaluation of HALCIA's needs which identified a series of potential improvements, notably in regard to investigation practices. Furthermore, a regional conference was held in February 2015 with other West African anti-corruption bodies as well as UNODC and other international organizations. The workshops held in May were therefore an integral part of that process. HALCIA President, Mr Issoufou Boureima, expressed his gratitude in his introductory remarks, highlighting the positive effects brought along by UNODC's recommendations and capacity building efforts.

The pervasiveness of corruption requires a streamlined and integrated approach in order to effectively address its ramifications. UNODC's work on anti-corruption is in line with the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS) as well as with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). These workshops were made possible thanks to the contribution from Austria and Norway.