Corruption is a vice that is prevalent in the African soils since time immemorial affecting every sector of the economy negatively. Efforts to fight corruption in African countries have been put in place due to its adverse effect on democracy, development, and fight against poverty. It’s alarming to learn that Africa continent lies lowest in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), with an average of 32 African countries. Similarly, 6 out of the ten countries at the bottom are African countries. Thus, corruption is widespread throughout the continent as per the statistics. The big question remains, what efforts are being made to fight corruption in African countries?
How bad is corruption in Africa?
About 43 percent of Africans live in poverty just because over US$650 billion are accounted as stolen assets/ resources every year. These resources would have been used to help lift the poor from their lack, but corruption would not allow it. Corruption is widespread right from the soils of Zimbabwe to Libya, accounting for how institutions are run, how public contracts are awarded, and that a lawyer drops a critical case because he has been tipped? The list is endless. How would the misappropriated funds be 25% of the wasted resources in a continent? It’s, therefore mandatory to look for efforts to fight corruption in African countries.
Corruption has been the cause of unfairness in all areas of African life from increasing costs to denying them access to amenities like education, health, and even justice at the expense of giving such opportunities to the wrong people. This has, in turn, led to life-long consequences to the affected parties. How the vicious cycle continues is alarming. It’s therefore very crucial to put efforts to fight corruption in African countries.
Statistics show that the poor pay the most significant amount of bribes as compared to the rich. A good example is in Sierra Leone, where the poor pay 13% of their income for bribes as compared to 3.8% by their counterparts.
Some of the ways to end corruption would include;
For victims and partakers of corruption to be exposed, African countries need to adopt the public registers systems. Gone are the days where the private companies keep secret the owners of the business, giving them a chance to go scot-free after getting involved in corrupt acts like money laundering and fraud. The magic in the public registers is that they allow for serious vetting of the public contracts. When this system is put in place, efforts to end corruption in African countries become a walk in the park.
1. Openness and transparency
All African countries should be vigilant in efforts to end corruption by steering clear of any corrupt dealings. They should also ensure that the perpetrators of the rules are punished accordingly.
African countries should be at the forefront of training experts in procuring data and documentation by doing thorough research and monitoring the labor force.
3. Internal investigation
All the departments in the AU Corruption Advisory Board should be vetted and investigated thoroughly, and in case any wrongdoers are found out, strict measures should be taken. Efforts to end corruption in African countries will be fruitful if all the anti-corruption policies are implemented.
A clear example would be that of the World Bank Group, which scrutinizes and vets all the World Bank Group-financed investments beforehand. This helps to measure the risk associated with the project, corruption included. In as much as the World Bank Group adopts this policy, African countries being the most beneficiaries of these investments will embrace corruption-free societies.
The above are just a few steps to combat corruption to give way for investments which in the long run, create jobs and growing economy. Investors will not be drawn away from investing in countries that are corruption-free since they are assured of good returns. It’s therefore clear that efforts to fight corruption in African countries are already being implemented around the continent.