Who is Akere Muna? All you need to know

Akere Tabeng Muna is a Cameroonian lawyer who is currently the Chairman of the International Anti-Corruption Conference Council. He was b...

Akere Tabeng Muna is a Cameroonian lawyer who is currently the Chairman of the International Anti-Corruption Conference Council. He was born in August 1952 in Ngyen-Mbo, a village in the North-West region of Cameroon. He completed his primary and secondary education in Cameroon before heading to the School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington, D.C., obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in International Relations in 1975. He then moved to England, where he joined the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn. He was called to the Bar in England in 1978. That same year, he returned to Cameroon to practice law.

On Sunday 8, October 2017,  Akere Tabeng Muna, officially announced his candidacy to run for president in the upcoming 2018 Presidential elections. 
In his announcement he stated;

 “It is with a great sense of responsibility and humility that I have decided to inform you of my intention to run for the office of President Republic of Cameroon in the elections constitutionally scheduled for 2018.”

Career

Upon returning to Cameroon, Akere Muna joined the legal practice of his brother, Bernard Muna. In 1984, the legal practice was converted into a law firm called Muna, Muna & Associates. Muna, Muna & Associates is one of the oldest law firms in Cameroon, with experience in the bi-jural (common law and civil law) legal system of Cameroon. Although Akere Muna has continued to work as a lawyer at the firm, he has held several positions in civil society within Cameroon and internationally.
The Cameroon Bar Association

In 1997, Akere Muna ran for president of the Cameroon Bar Association and won in a landslide. In that election, Akere formed a coalition (the Rainbow Coalition) for membership of the Bar Council that represented all the regions of Cameroon. All subsequent presidents of the Cameroon Bar Association have come from that initial Rainbow Coalition. This has led some to criticize that Akere Muna’s efforts led to the creation of an elitist group with excessive influence in the bar election process.

Transparency International

In 2000, Akere Muna founded the Cameroon chapter of the anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency International. In the two previous years, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) had listed Cameroon as the most corrupt of the countries surveyed. Many therefore thought it was risky for Akere Muna to head an organization that challenged the status quo. The Cameroon government strongly challenged TI’s assessment, and even considered suing TI. Muna, Muna & Associates lost many clients during this period, as many of those clients wanted to avoid the government’s ire as a result of any association with the firm. Eventually, the government formed an ad hoc committee, presided over by the Prime Minister, to combat corruption. Akere Muna, was a member of that committee, in his capacity as president of the Cameroon Bar.

In 2004, Akere Muna was elected to the Board of Directors of TI. That same year, the African Chapters of TI designated him as Coordinator of the Coalition of African Chapters of TI. As Coordinator, he was involved in the TI working group that helped draft the AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and authored a guide to the convention. 

In 2005, he was elected Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of TI, for a three-year term. He subsequently was reelected twice to that position, and stepped down in 2014, after serving the maximum number of terms.

International Anti-Corruption Conference Council

As Akere Muna’s mandate as Vice Chair of Transparency International came to an end in 2014, the Board of Directors of TI appointed him Chair of the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) Council. The IACC is a forum that brings together civil society, heads of state and the private sector to tackle challenges posed by corruption. The IACC takes place every two years in a different region of the world, and attracts up to 1500 participants from over 135 countries. Akere Muna was appointed for a six-year term.
Pan African Lawyers Union

Akere Muna was a founding member of the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU), the umbrella association of African lawyers and lawyers’ associations, tasked with working towards the development of the law and legal profession, the rule of law, human rights and socio-economic development of the African continent, as well as promoting African regional integration. In July 2005, Akere Muna was unanimously elected president of PALU by the heads of the various African bar associations. As president, he launched a program, funded by African Development Bank, to train 

African lawyers in sophisticated commercial transactions in all the five regions of Africa. He served as president from 2005 to 2014.

Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union

In 2005, The Pan African Lawyers Union became a member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) of the African Union (AU), an advisory body created to promote civil society involvement within the AU institutions and decision-making processes. In September 2008, Akere Muna was unanimously elected president of ECOSOCC, replacing Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai of Kenya. He was installed by President Kikwete of Tanzania, the then-President of the African Union.  He held this position until 2014.

African Peer Review Mechanism

In 2010, Akere Muna became a member of the APR Panel of Eminent Persons. The Panel exercises oversight of the African Peer Review Mechanism process, which is aimed at encouraging conformity among African countries in regard to their political, economic and corporate governance values. The Panel also oversees the selection of the APR Teams and appoints them to conduct country reviews. Akere Muna served as a member until 2013, when the Panel members elected him Chairperson. He was panel team leader for the assessment of Sierra Leone and Tanzania. He presented the reports for both countries, as well as the report for Ethiopia, to the APRM forum of heads of states. Akere Muna served as chairperson until 2014. His tenure ended controversially, with his release of scathing report on the APRM Secretariat and the internal governance of the APRM process. The report strongly criticized the Panel’s failure to adhere to its own governance mechanisms, despite promulgating good governance among the signatory member states to the APRM.

High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa

In 2012, Akere became a member of the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, a body established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and chaired by former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki. The Panel presented its report on illicit flows from Africa to the AU Summit of African Heads of States and governments in January 2015. 

African Development Bank

On February 11, 2013, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved the appointment of Akere Muna as Sanctions Commissioner of the African Development Bank. As Sanctions Commissioner, he may impose penalties against parties for proven commission of sanctionable practices in projects administered, financed or supported by the African Development Bank.

Family background
Akere Muna is the son of Solomon Tandeng Muna (1912 – 2002) and Elizabeth Fri Ndingsa (1918 – 1983). He is the seventh of eight children; six older brothers (Daniel Muna, Bernard Muna, Edwin Muna, Humphrey Muna, Walinjom Muna, and George Muna) and a younger sister (Ama T. Muna). His father, Solomon, was Prime Minister of West Cameroon, and subsequently the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Cameroon. He then became president of the National Assembly until his retirement in 1987. The Muna family is one of the most prominent families in Cameroon. Daniel Muna, Akere’s oldest brother, founded one of the longest-running and largest private hospitals in the Central African region, Polyclinic Bonanjo (renamed the Daniel Muna Memorial Clinic after his passing in 2009). He also served as the President of the Cameroon Medical Council, the body that controls and organizes the medical profession in Cameroon, and promotes and preserves the medical ethics code. Bernard Muna, a career lawyer, is currently Chairperson of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the Central African Republic. He was also the Deputy Prosecutor of the United Nations Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (1997-2002) and served as President of the Cameroon Bar Association (1986 - 1992). In 1987, he was elected President of the Central African Lawyers Union (UNAAC).  He ran unsuccessfully for president of the Republic of Cameroon in 2011, and remains a prominent opposition figure in the country. Walinjom Muna is a cardiologist and former president of the African Society of Cardiology. Ama T. Muna, the youngest sibling, used to be the Minister of Arts and Culture in Cameroon.

Personal life

In 1978, Akere Muna married Beverly Bird, the daughter of V.C. Bird, the then-prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda. They have two daughters, Lydia Muna and Kandi Muna.

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