PAN African Parliament President Bethel Amadi said on Wednesday that corruption continued to "derail government programmes and sustainable development on our continent".
The Pan African Parliament is next month to host global talks on what development goals would be appropriately pursued when the deadline for the United Nations’ Millennium Development goals expires in 2015.
All 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organisations pledged in 2000 to achieve the eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015. They are: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; promoting gender equality and empowering women; reducing child mortality rates; improving maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensuring environmental sustainability, and "developing a global partnership for development". Progress has been varied.
"Yes, corruption exists and it has been there for many years, but we won’t accept it as a part of life ... We need to find ways to speak up, find ways to limit it, and it has been reduced in many areas," Mr Amadi said.
United Nations Development Programme democratic governance director Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi said the February talks were a response to growing calls, especially from civil society, to "discuss governance and accountability bottlenecks" in progress towards the goals.
Africa, Asia and most of South and Central America show a high degree of corruption in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.
South Africa has fallen 31 places on the index in the 11 years to 2012, and ranked behind Ghana, Namibia, Rwanda and Lesotho in last year’s edition of the index. It is now ranked 69th of 176 countries.
Deputy International Relations and Co-operation Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said, even without corruption in the equation, the Millennium Development Goals would not be attained by 2015.