Peter Eigen is founder of Transparency International, an organisation which uses national concept approaches against corruption and to promote transparency and accountability in international development.
After studying law, Peter (born 1938) finished his PhD in Frankfurt and started working as a lawyer and adviser to the Government of Botswana. He became a World Bank manager for Latin America and West Africa in 1975. In 1988, he was Director for East Africa and saw his work hampered by corruption every day. Observing first hand the mechanisms of corruption and their impact on politics, economics and society, he left World Bank in 1993.
In 1993 he moved with his family to Berlin and founded the non-profit organisation Transparency International to take on his fight against corruption outside international institutions. Until 2003 he was Chairman of Transparency International. He sits on the boards of the African Development Bank and the NGOs Kabissa and Doctors for the Third World. Since 2011, he advises the Arnold Bergstraesser Institute in Freiburg.
Peter is one of the initiators of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an international initiative of States, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and companies. Their goal is to provide transparency in contracts and cash flows between firms and states, thereby preventing corruption. Since 2006 he is Chairman of the Board of EITI.
Eigen is also a member of the Africa Progress Panel (APP), a group of ten distinguished individuals who advocate at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable development in Africa. Every year, the Panel releases a report, the Africa Progress Report, that outlines an issue of immediate importance to the continent and suggests a set of associated policies.
As a lawyer Peter Eigen taught political science at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the College of Europe, Bruges and the FU Berlin. In 2007 he founded the Berlin Civil Society Center together with Burkhard Gnärig and is currently the organisation’s Chair.
At international conferences, he is both an expert on the subject of corruption and compliance as to Extractive Industries. Like no one else, he knows about the relationship of economic resources of the developing countries and the extractive industry, and shows an impressive example of a global scenario of the extractive distribution and its prospects.
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