Public procurement scholar and anti-corruption advocate Prof Sope Williams-Elegbe from the Department of Mercantile Law at Stellenbosch University (SU) recently received international acclaim for her outstanding work in the fight against corruption.
Williams-Elegbe, who is also the Deputy Director of the African Procurement Law Unit at SU, was honoured with the prestigious Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani International Excellence Award for Anti-Corruption Research and Education on 8 December 2022. The awards ceremony was held in Doha, Qatar.
Bestowed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the State of Qatar, this award recognises individuals and organisations who have contributed to the global campaign against corruption and who dedicated themselves to combat corruption in some capacity.
According to the organisers, the award also aims to enhance the visibility of those who are fighting corruption and to motivate governments, academic institutions, the media and civil society to adopt and understand the principles of the United Nations (UN) Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and collaborate towards their implementation.
Williams-Elegbe says she is grateful for the award and feels honoured to have been considered for it.
“I am also grateful for the research opportunities that SU has given me that made such an award possible. It is a high point in my career and is an indication that my academic work is valuable to our society and is making an impact. It is extremely validating and feels like compensation for the personal and professional sacrifices I have made over the course of my career."
Williams-Elegbe was nominated as an anti-corruption champion by UNODC in 2019 and by the Open Contracting Partnership in 2021. She is a member of Transparency International's Working Group on Debarment and Exclusion, a vice-chair of the International Bar Association's debarment and exclusions sub-committee, a board member of the Stellenbosch-Pavocat Academy and a board member of the Geneva-based non-governmental organisation, Slave Free Trade.
Williams-Elegbe has published extensively in the areas of anti-corruption and public procurement law and was also involved in the training of investigators from the Office of the Public Protector in South Africa between 2016 and 2019. In 2019, she received her first B-rating (researchers who enjoy considerable international recognition by their peers) from the National Research Foundation. In 2020 she developed the first postgraduate law module on corruption and public procurement at an African university.
- Photo: Prof Sope Williams-Elegbe at the awards ceremony in Doha, Qatar.