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56 Int'l J.L. & Mgmt. 3 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/ijlm56 and id is 1 raw text is: The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at

UK Bribery Act 2010:
implications for business in Africa
Martina Lagu Yanga
Middlesex University, London, UK
Purpose - This article aims to examine some of the implications of the UK Bribery Act (UKBA) 2010
for business in Africa and reviews the effectiveness of strategies African governments have adopted to
prevent bribery. The author proposes the development of a bespoke anti-bribery management system
(ABMS) based on empirical research. This would help African institutions overcome some of the
challenges associated with enforcing regulatory measures formulated in developed countries.
Design/methodology/approach - The paper takes the form of a literature review and commentary.
Findings - The UKBA has extra-territorial jurisdiction which empowers UK courts to prosecute cases
of bribery committed abroad by UK companies and their associates. The risk of prosecution is likely to
affect foreign direct investment and official development aid flows to Africa. However, companies can
escape prosecution if they can prove that they have adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery.
This raises the question as to whether the legislation shifts the responsibility of fighting bribery to
under-resourced overseas business partners and supply chains. While most African governments have
adopted robust anti-bribery laws, their enforcement is hampered by weak institutions.
Research limitations/implications - Empirical research is required to assess the impact of the
legislation over the next five years.
Practical implications - African organisations must be sensitised about the consequences of
violating the UKBA to ensure they adopt appropriate anti-bribery strategies.
Originality/value - This article contributes to literature by exploring the development of evidence
based ABMS for African organisations which is currently lacking.
Keywords Africa, Prevention, Anti-bribery management system, Bribery, Extra-territorial jurisdiction,
Paper type Conceptual paper
The UK Bribery Act (IJKBA) 2010 modernises British anti-corruption laws in order
to mitigate the risk of bribery by UK companies around the world. The
Act's extraterritorial jurisdiction has far reaching implications for UK businesses,
their subsidiaries and supply chains. In addition to criminalising bribery, the legislation
creates a new offence of failing to prevent bribery. An organisation can, however,
escape prosecution provided that it can prove it had adequate procedures in place
to prevent bribery. The UK has a poor record of prosecuting cases of bribery in
international business. This raises the question as to whether this legislation exonerates
The author would like to thank all those who assisted her during the writing of this article.
The author is very grateful to Professor David Lewis at Middlesex University for reading the
manuscript and making suggestions for improvements. The author appreciates the constructive
comments made by the anonymous reviewer which have contributed to the improved quality of
the revised article. All views expressed are those of the author. An earlier version of this article
was presented at the Business Ethics Network (BEN-Africa) Conference in Zanzibar in
November 2011.

UK Bribery
Act 2010


Received 5 December 2012
Revised 5 December 2012
Accepted 2 May 2013

International Journal of Law and
Vol. 56 No. 1, 2014
pp. 3-28
© Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108LMVA-12-2012-0040

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