African countries with Whistleblower Protection Laws

All African countries save for Eritrea are party to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which binds all nations who are signatories to the convention to protect whistleblowers.

Article 32 of the UNCAC reads: “Each State Party shall take appropriate measures in accordance with its domestic legal system and within its means to provide effective protection from potential retaliation or intimidation for witnesses and experts who give testimony concerning offences established in accordance with this Convention and, as appropriate, for their relatives and other persons close to them.”

There is the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption which promotes the protection of whistleblowers. Article 5.5 (page 10) of that convention reads:
“For the purposes of this convention, State Parties undertake to… 5. Adopt legislative and other measures to protect informants and witnesses in corruption and related offences, including protection of their identities”

The convention has been ratified by 45 countries in Africa. It came into force on 5 August 2006. The ten countries which have not ratified the continental convention are:

  1. Central African Republic
  2. Cape Verde
  3. Djibouti
  4. Democratic Rep. of Congo
  5. Eritrea
  6. Morocco
  7. Mauritania
  8. Somalia
  9. South Sudan
  10. Eswatini
1AlgeriaPrevention and the Fight Against Corruption (Loi n°06-01 du 20 février 2006 relative à la prévention et à la lutte contre la corruption), was enacted in 2006. This law has measures to protect whistleblowers with penalties ranging from six months' to five years' imprisonment and fines.

Whistleblowers who make false accusations are also sanctioned under the same law

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2AngolaNo whistleblower protection law
3BeninLaw on The Fight Against Corruption and Other Connected Infractions in The Republic Of Benin (2011) special protection whistleblowers, witnesses, experts, victims and their relatives against possible acts of reprisal or intimidation for the disclosure of corruption-related information.

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Decree on the Conditions of Special Protections for Whistleblowers, Witnesses, Experts and Victims, provides conditions for this special protection which notes that no whistleblower, expert or victim of corruption-related crime can be harassed, reprimanded or sanctioned for having reported or denounced corruption.

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4BotswanaThe Whistle Blowing Act provides protection for whistleblowers, if disclosure is made in good faith and believed to be true. The law also makes it illegal to victimise whistleblower at the workplace.

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5Burkina FasoLaw N° 04-2015/CNT provides basic protection for whistle-blowing in Burkina Faso against retaliation or punishment for experts or public officials who denounce corruption.
The law also establishes fines for public officials who undertake retribution against whistleblowers and establishes a system of reparations for those whistleblowers who have suffered such retaliation (Global Integrity 2018).

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6BurundiNo whistleblower protection laws
7CameroonNo whistleblower protection laws
8Cape VerdeUndefined
9Central African RepublicUndefined
12Democratic Republic of the CongoNo whistleblower protection laws. The DRC only protects whistleblowers in the Labor Code.
14EgyptNo whistleblower protection laws
15Equatorial GuineaLaw No. 1/2021 on the prevention and fight against corruption in the Republic of Equatorial Guinea provide some protection to whistleblowers.

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16EritreaNo laws protecting whistleblowers
17EthiopiaProclamation to Provide for the Protection of Witnesses and Whistleblowers of Criminal Offences only applies to witnesses who provide information in connection with certain criminal proceedings.

Revised Proclamation to Provide for Special Procedure and Rules of Evidence on Anti-Corruption, provides for the protection of Whistleblowers.

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19GambiaThe Labour Act offers some degree of protection for employees against being dismissed for disclosure.

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20GhanaThe Whistleblower Act provides legal protections and remedies to all people – employees and citizens – who report crime and misconduct in the public interest Ghana. This law is considered one of the most progressive on the continent.

21GuineaThe Labour Code provides some form of protection to employees who expose corruption, but it is very limited the law.

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22Guinea-BissauNo whistleblower protection laws
23Ivory CoastNo whistleblower protection laws
24KenyaThe Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003 could be framed as a law that protects whistleblowers, as it gives a broad definition of those who can be protected.

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25LesothoNo whistleblower protection laws
26LiberiaNo whistleblower protection laws
27LibyaNo whistleblower protection laws
28MadagascarArticles 32 to 35 of Law No. 2004-030, provides protection of whistleblowers, establishing measures to protect the of identity whistleblower, as well as provide law enforcement protection.

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29MalawiThe Corrupt Practices Act provides for imprisonment and fines for those who punish or victimize whistleblowers who report a corrupt practice to the Anti-Corruption Bureau or the police.
Section 50 of the Access to Information Act makes it illegal to dismiss persons who make disclosures in good faith.
30MaliMali does have the Anti-Corruption Law but does not provide protection to whistleblowers

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31MauritaniaThe Labor Code does not make reference to whistleblower protection, but it does protect persons who have made disclosures from losing their jobs.

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32MauritiusThe Prevention of Corruption Act 2002, which provides the whistleblower with immunity from civil or criminal liability.
33MoroccoNo laws to protect whistleblowers
34MozambiqueThe Law on the Protection of Victims and Witnesses 15/2012 was enacted to safeguard the interests of whistleblowers and victims who report corrupt schemes. It is Mozambique’s whistleblower protection law in a broad sense.

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35NamibiaThe Whistleblower Protection Act No.10 of 2017 criminalises retaliation against reporters of misconduct and corruption and imposes a hefty fine or a jail term not exceeding 15 years, or both, on anyone convicted of retaliation.
36NigerA 1992 law on illicit enrichment provides for the protection of witnesses but does not explicitly refer to “whistleblowers” .
37NigeriaThe Freedom of Information Act of 2011 speaks on the protection of whistleblowers.

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38Republic of the CongoNo whistleblower protection laws
39RwandaThe Whistleblower Protection Law no. 35 of 2012, which was amend by the Law for the Protection of Whistleblowers, no 44/2017 protects whistleblowers with a view to safeguarding public interest.
40Sao Tome and PrincipeNo whistleblower protection laws
41SenegalThere is no direct whistleblower protection law
42SeychellesThe Anti-Corruption Act protects whistleblowers and outlaws the victimising of such person or a public servant has made a disclosure or rendered assistance in inquiry under this Act.

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43Sierra LeoneThe Anti-Corruption Act (2000) which was amended in 2008 to expand the scope of corruption offences, provides protection for whistle blowers,

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44SomaliaNo whistleblower protection laws
45South AfricaThe Protected Disclosures Act (PDA) and the Companies Act (CA) provide for international standards in the protection of whistleblowers in line with UNCAC.
46South SudanThere is no whistleblower protection legislation in South Sudan.

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47SudanNo whistleblower protection law
48SwazilandNo whistleblower protection law
49TanzaniaThe Whistleblower and Witness Protection Act 2015 provides for protection of identity, and protection against retribution. There is no mention of a reversed burden of proof regarding retaliation, or waiver of liability for the whistleblower. If reports are made in good faith, there is protection against sanctions.
50TogoNo whistleblower protection law
51TunisiaLaw n°10-2017, is an anti-corruption law which also speaks on the protection of whistleblowers.

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52UgandaWhistleblower Protection Act does provide for the protection of whistleblowers

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53ZambiaThe Public Interest Disclosure Act which enables the report of corruption, acknowledges whistleblowers providing them with protection from victimisation and retaliation.
54ZimbabweSection 14 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 2005 speaks of punishing persons who threaten persons who report corruption.