West Africa: Whistleblowers Still In Danger

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Category: Studies, Articles and Publications
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West Africa: Whistleblowers Still In Danger (Report)

Jointly published by PPLAAF and OCWAR-M
Date of Publication: 05 February 2024


In West Africa, whistleblowers remain insufficiently protected and are particularly vulnerable despite their vital role in combating financial crime, stated the Platform to Protect Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) today (05/02/24). In a report jointly published with OCWAR-M, PPLAAF provides an overview of the current legal framework in the region and calls on authorities to adopt concrete protection mechanisms.

This report compiles findings from 14 studies on whistleblower protection conducted in 13 countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Mauritania. This work was made possible with the support of the European Union under the OCWAR-M project, aimed at combating financial crime in West Africa.

The report highlights several significant concerns, notably the absence of dedicated laws for whistleblower protection in most countries of the region, thus exposing them to increased risks. Only three of the fourteen countries examined currently have specific whistleblower protection laws, in some countries with laws, enforcement is lacking. For a whistleblower law to be effective, it should clearly define the whistleblower’s status and reporting procedures, ensure protection against retaliation and prosecution, punish perpetrators of retaliation, and provide specific safety measures. However, adequate protection also requires laws against financial crimes and laws guaranteeing freedom of expression and access to information. Specific whistleblower legislation alone is not enough without these complementary measures. - PPLAAF's press release