Hello my dear readers, vkasare writes more on Corruption in Africa and i urge you to read this article because it is time will all contribute in the total eradication of corrupt leaders in Africa.
CORRUPTION, THE BANE OF AFRICA
Prof. PLO – Lumumba, Ph.D.
Director – Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission
Africa has for many years gone through a myriad of hardships inflicted on it by other civilisations. During the pre-colonial period, hapless Africans were forcefully taken to far off continents to begin a life of servitude as slaves. Subsequently, for many centuries foreign powers invaded Africa and occupied it whilst exploiting its enormous natural resources. At the end of the Second World War, Africa returned to self-rule and political freedom. However, this did not help alleviate the people’s suffering. Disease, famine, poverty, conflict and corruption continued to afflict society.
Among these challenges, corruption dealt a major blow to the then fledgling African economies by depriving them of the much-needed resources. In a study undertaken in 2002, researchers established that corruption was costing Africa more than 148 billion dollars a year, and increased the cost of goods by as much as 20%, deterring investment and holding back development. Most of the cost was found to fall on and hit the poor and vulnerable in society.
The root causes of corruption vary from place to place depending on the political, social, economic and cultural circumstances. In Africa, some of the identifiable causes of corruption include the negative colonial legacy, poor leadership, politics of the belly, omnipotent state, greed and selfishness, clientelism and patronage nepotism, absence of popular participation of the public in government, weak institutions of governance, lack of accountability and transparency, lack of political will, weak ethical values, centralist nature of the state and concentration of state power, weak judicial system and constant insecurity and conflicts.
Despite the myriad factors that contribute to or cause corruption, in the case of Africa, the deep seated governance problem seems to explain why the continent is viewed as very corrupt. At independence most African states, and by extension leaders, preoccupied themselves with ‘politics of survival’ using military coups or other means to consolidate power through de-jure or de-facto one party states which guaranteed them security of tenure but which they also used to propagate their so called development agenda for the nation. This only worked to perpetuate neo-colonialism, exploitation of the people and resentment of any dissenting voices. Nepotism, ethnicity, race and other factors became key considerations in the allocation and application of national resources. Individuals in high offices in both the public and private sector used their power and influence to amass wealth to the detriment of the common person. This coupled with insensitive donor programmes, created and sustained bad governance, entrenched corruption and impunity and increased poverty levels.
Generally, regardless of ideological persuasion, from the post independence era to date, Africa has produced few States capable of creating enabling environment for economic development. The states are not only guilty of unproductive interventions in the economy but also for retarded economic development through parasitic and corrupt activities that discouraged and made business success dependent on political connection. This led to the structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) of the 1980s geared towards restoring economic growth, restructuring the political-economic patronage system of the post colonial era, pursuing economic and political reforms and improving infrastructure.
While the effects of SAPs on the poor and vulnerable remain controversial to date, they contributed to expansion of democratic space, increased agitation for transparency and accountability from government, reforms of key governance institutions and improved service delivery. The challenge to the full realization the benefits of democratic governance remain weak systems and lack of political will among Africa leaders. Therefore effects of corruption and bad governance are far reaching.
Thank you for reading……..to be continued on Friday