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New study on law enforcement against high-level corruption in Africa

Researchers from the School of Social and Political Science (SPS) will carry out the first systematic and comparative study of law enforcement efforts to tackle high-level corruption in Africa.

The research team led by Dr Gerhard Anders has received £318,863 from the Department of International Development for the two-year study into efforts to stop corruption in three African countries.

The project aims to identify factors supporting and preventing effective law enforcement against high-level corruption. It will compare investigations, prosecutions and civil litigation in countries where corruption is rife and has been targeted by the authorities: Nigeria, Tanzania and Malawi.

Researchers will examine the various investigative and legal tools available in criminal proceedings against corruption. They will also look at innovative legal strategies in use, such as asset recovery and civil litigation. Particular attention will be paid to the international connections of high-level corruption scandals under investigation. Research findings will be fed directly into policymaking and law enforcement in the three countries.

Principal investigator Dr Anders, senior lecturer in African Studies and International Development at SPS at the University of Edinburgh, will work with co-investigator Professor Fortunata Makene of the Economic and Social Research Foundation in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

The project is one of only ten selected to be funded by the DfID-Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence Programme. It will run from January 2019 – December 2020.

Dr Anders said: “We are really excited about the opportunity to study the dynamics of law enforcement in grand corruption cases in Africa. From an academic perspective, this research will challenge facile generalisations about how to tackle corruption in Africa. At a practical level, the researchers will work closely with prosecutors and investigators to make the research findings useful for them."

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