As the world commemorates International Anti-Corruption Day, ONE and Accountability Lab have partnered with continental Pop giants, Trace Africa, to launch the 2019 Accountability Music Awards. The awards celebrate the African musicians who use their voice to call for more transparency and accountability in Africa. Viewers on Trace Naija, Trace Urban and Trace Afrique, will be able to vote for their favourite song focused on the fight against corruption in our communities.

African citizens consistently place corruption amongst their top concerns, and report having lost faith in many key institutions, including legislatures, police, courts, and national electoral commissions. According to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, corruption among government officials and bureaucracies has increased over the last decade. In the 2015 report issued by the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, led by former President Thabo Mbeki, it is estimated that more than US$50 billion illicitly flows out of the continent every year.

In order to rebuild citizen trust in governments and to enable citizens and governments to work together to build a better future, citizens must be able to track budgets and follow the money from resources to results. An independent media, citizens and appropriate judicial and legislative checks and balances must be able to hold leaders accountable.

The partnership aims to acknowledge the songs of those musicians who use their voice to bring awareness to the effects which corruption has on our communities. Viewers can visit the Accountability Music Awards Website and vote for their favourite song.

Edwin Ikhouria, ONE in Africa Interim Executive Director, said: “Since independence, Africa’s growth and potential has faced many obstacles; one such hindrance has been corruption, which has lead to high levels of poverty and instability on the continent. Decades later, the people of the continent, including our musicians, are raising their voices to call for positive change in our communities.”

Blair Glencorse, Executive Director of Accountability Lab, said: “Traditional approaches to accountability and anti-corruption tend to focus on the perpetrators and the challenges which reinforce perceptions of wrong-doing. These awards fit with Accountability Lab’s approach to reframe these debates by focusing on artists who are advocating for positive social and political change through their music.”