Strengthening Asset Recovery in Africa: Multistakeholder Dialogue on the Implementation of CAPAR and Asset Recovery Initiatives

The CAPAR Civil Society Network, Civil Forum for Asset Recovery (CiFAR) and Transparency International, co-hosted a two-day workshop on the Common Africa Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR) and Asset Recovery in Africa, held in Nairobi, Kenya on April 25-26, 2024. It brought together policymakers, regional bodies, and civil society organizations (CSOs) to engage in collaborative dialogue on enhancing asset recovery efforts in Africa.

The first day featured open sessions with the participation of AU officials, regional asset recovery networks, government agencies, policymakers, politicians, and civil society organizations. The sessions focused on;

  • History and Background of CAPAR, which explored CAPAR’s origins, objectives, and the challenges and opportunities it presents. The speakers emphasized the need for a unified African voice against corruption and the importance of civil society engagement for the successful implementation of CAPAR. The development of an escrow account for repatriated assets was also discussed.
  • Opportunities and Challenges in Asset Recovery in Africa, delving into the limitations hindering effective asset recovery across Africa. Examples from Nigeria and Kenya showcased both the potential for significant asset recovery and the need for legal and institutional reforms as well as addressing the role of enablers. Discussions highlighted the importance of cross-border cooperation, physical asset registers, effective asset management, sufficient resourcing of mandated institutions and the need to set up review mechanisms for the implementation of CAPAR.
  • Civil Society CAPAR Pilot Assessment, introducing the tool developed by CiFAR and Transparency International to evaluate how effectively AU member states are implementing their CAPAR commitments. The pilot phase was undertaken by organisations in six countries (Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, and Nigeria), with the workshop offering a platform to refine the methodology based on participant feedback. Emphasis was placed on the effectiveness of the tool in identifying legislative, policy and implementation gaps.  
  • Building Policy Dialogue on Asset Recovery and CAPAR with emphasis on the importance of strengthening communication and collaboration between CSOs and policymakers on asset recovery issues. Pinpointing the necessity of building strong relationships with anti-corruption agencies and parliaments to further advocacy efforts for the establishment of national asset recovery frameworks and leveraging regional bodies like the AU and East African Community (EAC) to push for progress.

The second day featured a closed session with the participation of CSOs and focused on;  

  • Evaluating the CAPAR Pilot Assessment Tool based on the preliminaryresults of the pilot assessments, with participants offering valuable insights to improve the tool’s effectiveness. Discussions centred on ensuring the tool measures implementation beyond legal frameworks, focusing on practical application and identifying areas where support is most needed.
  • Engaging in Asset Recovery in Africa: challenges and perspectives. The focus here was on the interconnectedness of asset recovery with other anti-corruption efforts. Topics discussed included the potential of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) to promote transparency in asset recovery processes, the crucial role of whistleblower protection in exposing corruption, and how strategic litigation can be leveraged to recover stolen assets. Additionally, the importance of the right to information in enabling citizens to hold governments accountable for asset recovery efforts was addressed.

The workshop concluded with dialogue on the Next Steps of the CAPAR CSO Network. Key decisions included finalizing the pilot assessment reports for launch, electing a new network chair, and planning future activities. The network will focus on promoting CAPAR and its work at various upcoming forums, expanding its membership to include more CSOs, and prioritizing outreach to other countries.


The CAPAR CSO Network plays a critical role in ensuring that CAPAR translates from policy framework to tangible action. The workshop provided a platform for constructive dialogue, collaboration, and planning among CSOs, policymakers, and regional bodies to advance CAPAR and strengthen asset recovery efforts across Africa.