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(...) Corruption is a vice which is not specific to Cameroon, it is a global phenomenon, but we think a country like ours, which does not have enormous resources, will stand to benefit if we avoid wasting money and other funds. We are determined to go on and we have not only proceeded to arrest some replica officials who are today facing the law, but have also put in place a certain number of structures (...) _/ France 24, 31.10.07
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Document sans titre Présidence de la République du Cameroun
“Thanks to CONAC actions, hundreds of billions FCFA has been recovered”

Following is the speech of the Chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Commission of Cameroon, Rev. Dr. Dieudonné MASSI GAMS, during the presentation of Cameroon’s 2015 Anti-corruption Status Report at the Yaounde Hilton Hotel on December 29, 2016.

Members of the legislative, judicial and executive arms of government were present at the event.

Members of the legislative, judicial and executive arms of government were present at the event.

- “The Honourable President of the Senate,
- The Honourable President of the National Assembly,
- His Excellency the Prime Minister, Head of Government,
- The President of the Economic and Social Council,
- Members of Government,
- Representatives of members of the Diplomatic Corps,
- The President of the Supreme Court,
- The Attorney General of the Supreme Court,
- The President of the Audit Bench of the Supreme Court,
- The Chief Judge of the Special Criminal Court,
- The Attorney General of the Special Criminal Court,
- The Delegate General for Public Security,
- The Secretary of State for Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie,
- The Chairman of Elections Cameroon,
- The Chairman of the National Commission of Human Rights and Freedom,
- The Chairman of the National Communication Council,
- The Coordinator of the National Programme on Governance,
- The Director of the National Agency for Financial Investigation,
- Representatives of Political Parties,
- Representatives of Development Partners,
- Government Delegates to Urban Councils,
- General Managers of public and semi-public institutions,
- Representatives of Consular Services, Professional Organisations and Corporations,
- Representatives of Religious Communities,
- The President of Transparency International-Cameroon,
- Representatives of Civil Society Organisations,
- Representatives of Media Organs,
- Distinguished Guests,
- Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are sincerely delighted to welcome you to the official presentation of Cameroon’s 2015 Anti-Corruption Status Report organised in this Conference Hall of Yaoundé Hilton Hotel.
On behalf of the Members of the Coordination Committee and the entire staff of CONAC, we heartily thank you for readily accepting to honour our invitation. This gesture shows how much interest you bestow on our Institution and activities and for this, we once again express our profound gratitude and unreserved esteem.
As a matter of fact, decree no 2006/088 of 11 March 2006 relating to the setting up, organization and function of CONAC, in Article 24(3, 4) states that:
- “The Commission shall submit to the President of the Republic an annual report on the anti-corruption drive.
- Such annual report shall be published.”

This justifies the organization of this ceremony.
This ceremony is special in that today, CONAC is presenting the 6th anti-corruption status Report, 10 years after its inception. The presentation of its 10-year balance sheet is therefore necessary.
The fight against corruption is a constant concern of the highest authority of our country. The Head of State, President Paul BIYA, is the precursor of the struggle against this scourge, as he placed the anti-corruption drive at the forefront of his policy, immediately he came into power, by advocating rigour and moralisation of behaviours and in the management of public property.
The strong commitment of the Head of State to stamp out corruption has therefore always been proclaimed in his different speeches.
During the Council of Ministers’ meeting of 12 September 2007, for example, the President of the Republic hammered:

As a matter of fact, the implementation of several institutional, political, infrastructural and legal mechanisms to eradicate this scourge is testimony of this commitment. In 2006, this commitment was further materialised when the Head of State created the National Anti-Corruption Commission to cleanse the Cameroonian society of corruption which slows down development and undermines efforts made to ensure a more just and stable society.
In his opening and policy speech on the 3rd Congress of the CPDM party held in Yaoundé on 16 September 2011 therefore, President Paul Biya affirmed: “Concerning public morality, institutional mechanisms have been put in place to combat corruption (…) The National Anti-Corruption Commission (CONAC) has moved from the educational and sensitization to an operational phase. Be it known (…) that I am fully determined to eliminate this scourge and step up the fight against corruption, without complacency, discrimination and irrespective of the social status or political leaning of those found guilty. Nobody will consider himself or herself to be above the law.”
Ladies and gentlemen, far from a systemic response to this scourge, in order to build a society where integrity is the watchword, the involvement of each and every one in this fight is imperative.
That is why, since CONAC was set up, some public Administrations, private institutions and structures, NGOs and civil society have been expressing a strong passion in carrying out anti- corruption activities.
Furthermore, glorious actions geared towards recovery of State resources, a veritable collective consciousness of the population, great enthusiasm in Cameroonians in monitoring CONAC’s activities through a determined involvement of all in denouncing corruption, are worth noting. Such an enthusiasm is shown in the increase in number of denunciations which have moved from 164 in 2008 to 3268 in 2015, making a total of 13 146 in seven years of activity.
CONAC is guided by two main actions when treating complaints lodged with it depending on its competence in the matter or not.
Where it is competent, CONAC may carry out investigations or seize the Administrative service concerned for “appropriate measures and actions” and request feedback on the treatment of the matter.
Where denunciations do not fall in line with CONAC’s missions, they are forwarded to the relevant Administration or structure “for competence” or “for appropriate treatment”. Whatever the case, CONAC systematically informs the complainant of any action taken and the response thereof from administrations and structures seized.
Concerning the administration of justice, we note some rebuff by suspects of the way their matters are treated by some Judges. This shows that the Justice system is not all that impartial. Such persons turn to seek the intervention of CONAC for annulment or review of the judgement whereas there are existing appeal channels.
We seize this opportunity to state that CONAC is not a law court and has no powers to impose decisions or review of cases by Magistrates just like the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court.
When a case is pending in Court, CONAC refrains from interfering for respect of the principle of independence of the Justice system.
Denunciations involving Magistrates, Court Registrars, lawyers, bailiffs and notaries, CONAC refers them to the Minister of Justice for application of the texts governing this profession.
Note that CONAC has the powers to initiate its own proceedings or be seized by a third party. In either case, CONAC is bound to protect its informant provided their malicious intent is not established.
Ladies and gentlemen,
After ten years of activity, a number of essential points can be highlighted.
Since CONAC was set up, the Coordination Committee, with powers of deliberation and decision, took 441 resolutions between 11 June 2007 and 30 November 2016. These resolutions relate to the ascriptions of the Institution, financial inquiries, public contracts and investigations in divers sectors.
A – Prevention of corruption
Prevention is the very first strategic step in every effective anti-corruption policy. That is why CONAC:
- drew up the National Programme on Education to Integrity in 2010 in collaboration with stakeholders of the education sector. The long-term objective of this document is to contribute to preventing and eradicating corrupt habits and practices, instil ethical behaviours in view of ensuring that Cameroonian youths respect universal, traditional, moral, ethical and fundamental values in life;
- carried out a “corruption-free competitive examination” (COSCO) project in collaboration with higher institutions of learning;
- sensitized youths and students during FENASCO Leagues A and B and University Games;
- organised the “Corruption-free back-to-school” programme; and
- carried out “corruption-free cocoa and coffee season campaign” throughout the national territory.
B – Communication and sensitization activities
CONAC continues to carry out informative, educative and communication activities in view of changing the behaviours of the society towards corruption.
Through its radio and television programme ESPACE CONAC, the institution informs the public, over the national radio and television and other networks, on corruption practices that are rife in public, semi-public and private services, the modus operandi of perpetrators, the ways to fight corruption and remedy channels. A total of 381 programmes have so far been produced and broadcast between 2012 and 2015, representing 310 radio and 71 television programmes.
Further to this, the Institution has been carrying out education and sensitization campaigns throughout the country and beyond. The public has been sensitized on the existence of CONAC, its missions, functioning, methods and dangers of corruption and its related offences.
C – Investigations and repression of acts of corruption
Within the framework of investigations and repression of corrupt acts, CONAC has mainly carried out actions relating to:
- gathering, centralizing and analysing information and denunciations on corruption;
- carrying out on-the-spot impromptu controls and gathering of evidence;
- ensuring that suspects provide justifications for their possessions;
- carry out administrative and financial audits of State Institutions, public and semi-public enterprises.
To this end, CONAC has:
- heard at least 508 persons implicated or suspected to be implicated in illicit practices. Noteworthy too is that several cases have been transmitted to the General Delegate for National Security for further inquiries and legal actions.
D – Audits and controls
CONAC has conducted audits on several structures, like:
- Yaounde Central Hospital;
- Yaounde and Douala General Hospitals;
- Cameroon Real Estate Company;
- Ayaba Hotel;
- Department of Examinations and Certification in MINESEC.
Routine on-the-spot checks carried out include:
- an inquiry on corruption practices in the extractive industries sector;
- an inquiry on the management of compensation dues to victims of the Nsam disaster;
- an inquiry on the embezzlement of funds in the Forestry Fund Security Programme;
- an inquiry on tax fraud in the Cameroon Brewery Company;
- an inquiry on the arrogation and jumble sale of land retroceded by the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) to the South West population.
Along the same line, and in a bid to improving and ensuring regularity in public spending, CONAC carried out 21 on-the-spot and financial controls on various development projects and 02 Public Contract Award Commissions, including:
- control of the uncompleted Ngaoundere – Belel road construction project;
- control of the Badjob Junction – Ikoa Malep Junction road maintenance project;
- control of the Angossas – Djondjocj road widening project;
- control of the borehole construction project by UCCAO;
- control of delegated credits to MINFI and MINEPAT.
E – Activities of CONAC’s Rapid Interventions Unit (AIR)
CONAC contributed enormously in prompt apprehension of culprits caught in the very act of corruption activities, swindling, influence peddling or scamming through 85 AIR field missions. Such cases include:
- issuance of fake driving licenses;
- illegal sale of cocoa;
- extortion of funds from transporters
- illegal collection of dues during school resumption periods;
- blockage of retirement benefit payment files;
- extortion from users in public services;
- the phenomenon of fake CONAC workers, fictitious civil servants and collection of double salaries.
F – Files transmitted to Courts
42 cases were initiated and sent to Courts, among which 28 are pending judgment and 14 judgments passed.
G – Recovery of funds
Thanks to CONAC actions,
- almost CFA 6 billion francs recovered as tax recovery on MTN Cameroon and Broadband Communication Ltd., suspension of cheque payments and transfers to banks, fake salary and pension transfers to Microfinance Institutions, the management of HIPC funds allocated to the Community Forestry and Wildlife Resource Management Initiative (RIGC) and tax recovery on wholesalers in the Littoral brewery industries and paid into the Public Treasury.
- CFA 10 billion 249 million 969 thousand 196 francs being recovered;
- the State of Cameroon has been prevented from spending very heavy sums of money within the framework of the Ayos – Bonis road construction project (CFA 15 billion 386 million 524 thousand 487 francs);
- the construction project of the Kribi Industrial Seaport Complex (CFA 19 billion 158 million 326 thousand 375 francs) where corrupt officials had planned to extort for themselves billions of tax payers’ money.
- CFA 170 billion 548 million 873 thousand and 49 francs which mobile telephone companies are expected to pay in as taxes and duties and as dues to the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ART);
- - CFA 8 billion 840 million 339 thousand 816 francs lost by the State within the framework of payment of compensation dues to victims of the Nsam fire disaster.
H – SNLCC implementation
Since the 08 February 2011 when this document was validated by the Government and its Technical and Financial Partners, its implementation by Cameroonians, public, semi-public and private administrations is being done through:
- the printing and distribution of about 10 000 copies of the document in the two official languages;
- the organisation of 10 regional workshops to educate at least 1000 participants including administrative, traditional and religious authorities, officials of public, semi-public and private administrative units, elected local personalities, and members of civil society organisations on aspects pf the document.
- support of the drawing up, implementation and evaluation of Regional anti-corruption action plans whose elaboration began in 2012 and which enables every Region to keep and anti-corruption action plan, provides an opportunity for capacity-building of regional stakeholders involved in their implementation, and offers the possibility for the national community to personally estimate the implementation rate of these regional action plans. The summary gave the following results and rankings:
Ranks Regions General implementation rate of anti-corruption action plans since 2012
1st Adamawa 33.9%
2nd Far North 32.92%
3rd Centre 32.52%
4th South West 29.48%
5th North West 29.41%
6th North 29.27%
7th West 26.31%
8th East 21.71%
9th South 19.96%
10th Littoral 19.90%
National average 27.53%

H - Implementation of Rapid Results Initiatives (RRIs)
As part of the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (SNLCC), CONAC provided technical support to public and semi-public administrations as well as civil society organizations by training their officials and leaders in the implementation of RRIs.
For example, from 2011 to 2015, out of the 38 Ministries, 34 State Companies and Public Agencies listed, only the following 30 Administrations and Structures embarked on this process with satisfactory results, including the reduction of administrative procedures, the reduction of costs and delays, compliance with standards, the change in behaviour, the improvement of the quality and performance of the services involved. These Administrations are:
- Ministry of Public Health ;
- Ministry of Basic Education ;
- Ministry of Secondary Education;
- Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training;
- Ministry of Water Resources and Energy ;
- Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reform ;
- Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation;
- Ministry of Housing and Urban Development;
- Ministry of Social Affairs;
- Ministry of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts;
- Ministry of Transports;
- Ministry of Commerce;
- Ministry of Public Contracts;
- Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;
- Ministry of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure;
- Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family;
- Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife;
- Ministry of Employment and Social Security;
- Public Contracts Regulatory Agency;
- Cameroon Water Utilities ;
- Electricity Development Corporation ;
- Electricity Sector Regulatory Agency;
- Rural Electrification Agency ;
- ENEO Cameroon ;
- National Refining Company;
- Camerounaise des Eaux ;
- National Petroleum Storage Company ;
- Mekin Hydro-Electric Development Corporation ;
- Memve’ele Project.

CONAC is currently in the broadening phase with the 9th RRIs series launched on 9 September 2016, pending the results by sector.

I – National and international cooperation

At the national level, CONAC developed important strategic and operational partnerships with some public and parastatal structures, corporate citizens and civil society organizations. We can mention collaboration agreements with:

- the Ministry of Youth and Civic Education (MINJEC),
- the National Financial Investigation Agency (ANIF)
- the National Advanced School of Engineering (ENSP) ;
- the National Advanced School of Public Works (ENSTP);
- the Public Contracts Regulatory Agency (ARMP);
- the Inter Patronal Grouping of Cameroon (GICAM);
- the National Anti-Corruption Coalition (CNLCC) ;
- the Business Coalition against Corruption (BCAC).

In the field of international cooperation, we can mention:
- membership in international anti-corruption associa-tions and networks, such as the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA), the African Network of Anti-Corruption Agencies (AAACA) or the Network of Anti-Corruption Institutions of African Commonwealth Countries (AACACA) ;
- CONAC's growing and active participation in internatio-nal meetings dedicated to the fight against corruption like the Crans Montana Forum, Summits of both the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) and the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA);
- signature of two international conventions on the fight against corruption with the Central Service for the Prevention of Corruption (SCPC) in France and the Administrative Control Authority (ACA) in Egypt.

All these initiatives enable CONAC to share its experience, exchange best practices and strengthen its staff capacities in various fields such as anti-corruption techniques, investigations, management, integrity and assets recovery.

Ladies and gentlemen,
We did not want to overshadow the purpose of this ceremony which is the presentation of the 2015 Anti-Corruption Status Report. It is for this reason that we are going to present to you its key points.
It should first of all be pointed out that this Report highlights the comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to the fight against corruption in the sense that it summarizes the interventions of public, private sector and civil society actors, regardless of their area of competence. We deemed it necessary because in 2015 a greater number of stakeholders took an active part in this fight and reported their activities to CONAC.
1. With regard to prevention,
• the continued implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (SNLCC) through the generalization of Rapid Results Initiatives (RRIs) and the implementation of Regional Anti-Corruption Plans;
• the decisive role played by the Private Sector, Religious Communities and Civil Society organizations in terms of public awareness, advocacy, training and assistance to populations in our country in 2015.

2. With regard to the suppression of acts of corruption,

• controls and investigations have played a prominent role in the activities carried out by CONAC in 2015 to punish offenses committed;
• the financial loss sustained by the State on the basis of the Commission’s investigations in 2015 amounts to CFA 171 843 239 983 francs;
• CONAC’s interventions in 2015 were more centered on assistance, investigations and rapid interventions;
• Projects implementation remains a real concern and a major obstacle to the achievement of our country's development goals. As evidence, the Public Contracts Regulatory Agency (ARMP) singled out the abandonment of 432 projects from 1993 to 2015, including 45 projects in 2015 alone. More seriously, according to ARMP, more than 60 companies have each abandoned at least two construction sites.
• in 2015, national courts carried out intense activity to sanction corrupt practices and assimilated offenses.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As you can see, CONAC's action encounters numerous obstacles or weaknesses linked to the ever-increasing workload, inadequate human resources and the absence of antennas throughout the national territory. The result, on the one hand, is the excessive workload, the slowdown in output and, on the other hand, the expansion of the phenomenon of fake CONAC agents. By way of illustration, to date, the Institution has only 68 staff, among whom only 34 executives handle the files. Hence the need to increase the number of staff, like the Anti-Corruption Agencies of Botswana or Tanzania, with 600 and 3,000 staff respectively.

Ladies and gentlemen,

After a long period of observation justified by the desire to mature our reflection on suitable solutions to overcome these difficulties, we have deemed it necessary, in the short term, to develop:

1°/ a Procedures Manual which will facilitate the work and increase
staff performance in:
● the processing of files (routing, processing times);
● the management of investigations and hearings (conduct of investigations, deadlines, mission reports, etc.);
● the receipt, retention and management of evidence and property seized;

2°/ a Code of Ethics which could be a revised version of CONAC Internal Regulations to ensure the integrity and loyalty of staff; this Code should be known to all staff and even the general public;

3°/ a revised Guide to replace the current Guide for the preparation of mission reports, to ensure that all necessary elements for good decision-making are included in any mission report;

4°/ an organizational chart with a Description of Tasks and indications relating to work stations;

5°/ a document on the Monitoring of high-risk sectors (a form of prevention of corruption through deterrence);

6°/ a document prohibiting or regulating gifts offered to staff;

7°/ a document giving an identity to CONAC through a logo and a slogan containing its mission and vision (to popularize among the public, administrations, members of the National Anti-Corruption Coalition, NGOs, partners in the fight against corruption and religious organizations);

8°/ a training and retraining plan for staff.

In the medium term, it will be necessary to:

1°/ build CONAC head office building (the institution must have its own premises meeting the international standards of an anti-corruption structure);

2°/ use the services of "undercovers" or confidential informants paid by CONAC;

3°/ revise the organic text of CONAC

4°/ decentralize CONAC structures to bring them closer to the populations and reduce their current congestion which leads to the overload of staff and delays in the processing of files;

5°/ administer oaths to CONAC investigators and executives;

6°/ confer the status of Judicial Police Officer on CONAC investigators (CONAC investigators should have the status of judicial police officers to avoid their work being rejected by courts);
7°/ initiate legal proceedings directly by CONAC such as, for example, in the Arab Republic of Egypt with the Administrative Control Authority (ACA);

8/ reinforce the protection of whistleblowers.

The accomplishment of the missions devolved to CONAC has not been as smooth as a flowing river during the ten years that followed its creation. Due to the actions they have regularly taken in the performance of their duties, some senior CONAC officials are threatened through phone messages or intrusions into their homes. This situation requires the intervention of State authorities for the reinforcement of the security and protection measures of the persons concerned.

Ladies and gentlemen,

At the end of this first decade of operation, CONAC’s main expectations in the fight against corruption in Cameroon are based on:
- the appropriation and implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (SNLCC) by the Ministries, Regions, Divisions, Councils, Chiefdoms, Churches and Mosques;
- the completion of the draft law on the prevention and suppression of corruption and related offenses, the purpose of which is to internalize the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Some African countries, like Senegal, Rwanda and Botswana, already have this important legal instrument to combat corruption.

To these two expectations must be added the implementation of Law No. 003/2006 of 25 April 2006 on the Declaration of Goods and Assets as is the case in Gabon, Senegal, Botswana and Nigeria. In this respect, it is important to note that CONAC has sufficient expertise and experience to effectively assume the prerogatives of asset declaration, and could therefore be granted those prerogatives.

The same holds true for the replacement of the organic decree creating CONAC by a law that will guarantee the creation, powers, organization, functioning and means of action of this new Institution against any attack and reinforce its effectiveness.

As in Senegal, the opening of a CONAC radio with a national scope, with a view to intensifying the fight against corruption and establishing good governance, is highly desirable.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Corruption is not specific to Cameroon; it is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. It is one of the main obstacles to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. In a recent speech, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) noted that: "Africa loses about 148 billion dollars (that is 81.4 trillion CFA francs) per year due to corruption that plagues most of the continent's economies, while illicit financial flows cause the continent to lose 60 billion dollars (about 33,000 billion CFAF) each year”.

In addition to the many achievements we have recalled above, the status of the fight against corruption in Cameroon thus makes it possible to identify some constants:

- the determination of public authorities and administrations to combat corruption is strong and evident;
- Civil society and the private sector are now following suit.
- Cameroon is asserting itself increasingly on the international scene by setting up mechanisms of transparency in the management of its subsoil resources;
- the international rating institutions seem to confirm this progressive evolution of our country.

However, due to the persistence of obstacles in some sectors, one can easily confirm that alongside the efforts already made there is still a long way to go. To illustrate this state of affairs, we can note with regret the slow appropriation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy by certain Public Administrations or the weak commitment of some Ministerial Departments to the implementation of Rapid Results Initiatives.

In the political sphere, the September 2013 twin elections brought CONAC into the spotlight on the issue of corruption during the electoral period. By means of an information and awareness-raising approach, CONAC made important recommendations to the various actors involved in the electoral process in our country.

To improve the fight against corruption, the following perspectives are and remain relevant:

- the creation of an institution responsible for the management of seized or confiscated resources resulting from corruption and related offenses, or public property returned in cash or in kind, irrespective of the administration or jurisdiction that proceeded to their recovery;
- the creation and/or revitalization of anti-corruption units in all the ministerial departments as well as in public administrative establishments, public companies, semi-public companies, private companies and councils. These actions must be accompanied by an adequate allocation of human and material resources;
- the creation of Rapid Intervention Units in Regions, in the absence of CONAC Regional Antennas;
- the intensification of the fight against corruption in the private sector through the adoption of Codes of Ethics;
- the adoption of an anti-corruption law coupled with the practical modalities of its implementation is highly desired to strengthen the anti-corruption drive and to protect whistleblowers.

Ladies and gentlemen,

While wishing you an interesting and useful reading of this Report, allow us to present, on behalf of the members of the Coordination Committee, and all the CONAC staff, our best wishes for the year 2017.

Thank you for your kind attention./”


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