Unregulated flows of money in the funding of political parties and election campaigns threaten key democratic principles and values in African countries.

When politicians and political parties focus more on financiers than public interests and needs, service delivery may be compromised for political expediency. Enormous strides have been made since 1990 to tackle the scourge of political corruption on the continent. However, corrupt activities associated with political finance regulations persist.

This policy paper:

  • analyses political finance regulatory trends in Africa, identifies corruption risk areas in such regulations, and provides actionable policy recommendations for key stakeholders to improve transparency and accountability in political finance;
  • examines good practices for political finance regulation, the challenges of an integrity-enhanced political finance system and explores options for redress; and
  • identifies key themes in the political finance framework, such as sources of finance, limits on funding, limits on party and candidate spending, and lessons learned regarding the effectiveness of regulatory mechanisms on the continent.

Similar analysis is also available for AsiaCentral and Eastern Europe and Latin America.


Publication date
06 August 2019
Nicasius Achu Check, Tsholofelo Madise, Nkululeko Majozi and Yukihiko Hamada
Number of pages
Africa Institute of South Africa
978-91-7671-257-3 (PDF)
978-91-7671-256-6 (Print)


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Key recommendations
Executive summary

1. Introduction

2. Political finance challenges in Africa

3. Accountability and transparency in political finance regulatory frameworks

4. Lessons learned on the effectiveness of political finance regulation

5. Areas for improvement

6. Recommendations

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The Integrity of Political Finance Systems in Africa: Tackling Political Corruption

International IDEA Policy Paper No. 20
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