The establishment of a regional centre of excellence in integrity, human rights and laws of conflict will be the impetus for an envisioned global dialogue event that will endeavour to engage world leaders on anti-corruption, integrity and rule of law in Africa.
Inspired by the format and the reach of the Manama Dialogue in Bahrain, attended annually by world leaders, the Stellenbosch Dialogue will be the African continent's annual premier global summit.
The Stellenbosch Dialogue is to be spearheaded by the Pavocat Stellenbosch Academy (PSA), a collaboration between the Stellenbosch University (SU) Faculty of Law at Stellenbosch and the Pavocat Group, an international business with expertise in all aspects of counter-corruption and international humanitarian law. The Stellenbosch Dialogue, to be launched in 2024, will form part of a range of interventions to be implemented across the continent under the auspices of Pavocat's South Africa Regional Centre of Excellence that will be actively supported by SU through the PSA.
Prof Geo Quinot, SU Professor in Public Law and board member of the PSA, says this initiative will set out to address at least 4 of the 10 critical actions of the National Development Plan 2030, namely counter-corruption, economic growth, education and crime reduction.
“The flagship event of the PSA will be the Stellenbosch Dialogue that will place South Africa in the vanguard of efforts to improve counter-corruption, human rights and laws of conflict, thereby enhancing its international reputation. To be themed 'Improving Integrity, Good Governance and the Rule of Law in Africa' the Stellenbosch Dialogue will aim to be the continent's leading conclave dealing with countering corruption in Africa, and more."
Quinot adds that while there are many discussions and initiatives aimed at addressing corruption and raising integrity in South Africa and on our continent more broadly, there is very little coordination between these efforts and as a result, little progress.
“The Dialogue is thus firstly aimed at creating a platform for coordination at the highest level and secondly at supporting resultant initiatives in a coordinated manner. On a practical level this means, for example, building capacity through dedicated training opportunities for investigators, prosecutors, internal auditors, compliance officers and other role players that are key to successful implementation of anti-corruption and integrity programmes. As part of this broad initiative of the Centre, the PSA will in particular develop and deliver relevant, focused and highly practical short courses for professionals practising in the fields of counter-corruption, laws of conflict and related fields of law, and which are intended to assist in countering corruption and to improve adherence to laws of conflict globally. The PSA will also analyse the possibilities, appropriate approaches and methodologies to providing research and technical assistance in those fields."
The Regional Centre of Excellence draws on the expertise of a growing number of subject matter experts, distinguished lawyers, leading academics and experienced instructors. These include SU's Professors Thuli Madonsela, Geo Quinot, Sope Williams-Elegbe and Sam Tshehla; Pavocat's Lee Marler, James Stuart and James Johnstone, as well as high-profile experts such as Lord Robertson, former Secretary General of NATO; Akere T Muna, former Vice-President of Transparency International and Dr Edward Hoseah, former Chair of the AU Board on Corruption.
Prof Wim de Villiers, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, says: “The Stellenbosch Dialogue gives effect to SU's vision of spearheading efforts to address our society's biggest challenges in research-intensive, collaborative and inclusive ways. We believe we can make a meaningful contribution along this route to raising the level of integrity on our continent and thereby accelerating development."
Justice Edwin Cameron, SU Chancellor, also supports the initiative: “There are few greater hurdles impairing development in our country and our continent at present than corruption and poor governance. We are in dire need of strong leadership and innovation in tackling these challenges and SU hopes to bring emphasis and coordination to such efforts through the Stellenbosch Dialogue," hê says.
Liaise with Prof Geo Quinot at the SU Faculty of Law (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or visit https://blogs.sun.ac.za/law/pavocat-stellenbosch-academy-psa/