Corruption In Africa Not Peculiar To Congo And Nigeria - Transperency International

Corruption in Africa is no different to corruption anywhere else on the planet, according to a new book by the former chair of graft watchdog Transparency International.
The image of Africa as a continent beset by corruption has dominated the popular imagination for decades, reinforced by its consistently dismal performance in anti-corruption league tables.

From routine demands for bribes by policemen to grand scale looting of state funds by its rulers, corruption has been blamed for stunting Africa's growth, keeping millions in poverty and scaring off investors.

But now may be the time for international investors especially to reconsider their perceptions.

In "Global Corruption: Money, Power and Ethics in the Modern World," Laurence Cockcroft argues that the main drivers of corruption, including the informal economy, political funding, the role of multinationals and organised crime, are common to many countries and graft is not intrinsic to Africa.

"The pattern of corruption which occurs in Africa is remarkably similar to that elsewhere," Cockcroft told reporters. "This is an international phenomenon and it's certainly not a uniquely African issue."

Cockcroft does not deny that corruption is a huge problem in Africa.

While average GDP growth of around 5 percent over the last decade has led to higher urban living standards, life for poor, rural dwellers in the bulk of sub-Saharan Africa has not improved because governments cannot deliver basic services, he said.

The book has no shortage of examples of African kleptocracy, from Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire  now Democratic Republic of the Congo to Nigeria, where oil wealth has brought prosperity to only a few.

Still, Cockcroft finds equally egregious examples in other parts of the world, and of the "mega corruption scandals" over the last 25 years, not one has been in Africa.
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  1. "The pattern of corruption which occurs in Africa is remarkably similar to that elsewhere," I agree with Mr. Cockcroft on this point, That is not to say that corruption should be tolerated



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