After gaining independence from Britain in 1968, the island state of Mauritius developed swiftly into one of Africa's most stable and prosperous democracies. However, the nation's newfound wealth-especially in the booming offshore-finance sector-created distinct risks. Corruption and money laundering jeopardized the country's reputation for good governance. In 2002, Mauritius passed laws that created an Independent Commission Against Corruption, with investigative and prosecutory powers as well as preventive and educational roles. Early missteps and internal discord discredited the commission, but in 2006, Senior Magistrate Anil Kumar Ujoodha set the organization on a new course by building investigative capacity, implementing government-wide preventive reforms, and winning numerous court cases. Six years later, however, the commission was still struggling to win public trust, illustrating the difficulties of combating corruption in a politically charged context.
Gabriel Kuris drafted this case study based on interviews conducted in Port Louis and Quatre Bornes, Mauritius, in March and April 2013. Case published July 2013.
Associated Interview(s): Dev Bikoo
corruption prevention review
Public Sector Anti-Corruption Framework
Building a Reform Team and Staff
Countering Criminal Economies
Building inter-agency cooperation
Compliance with international law
Investigation or referral
Organization and staffing
Institutional traps (spoilers)
Country of Reform: