Hello, I come to write today as a result of a most beautiful exchange between a fellow Africa blogger ( Drima-The Sudanese Thinker) and myself. If you are interested in reading the exchange you can find it in the comment section [here]. My rationale for actually following up the discussion with a full post is two-fold.
- Drima's open and frankness opened my eyes, not necessarily to the reality of corruption in Africa, but more so to the difficulties of honest people (like Drima) trying with much trepidation to avoid it.
- Also, in overhearing countless other conversations by other Africa bloggers, the topic of corruption often times dominates the floor. Sometimes my personality makes it difficult for me to focus on anything, but the positive. As such, I made a very conscious decision when I started this blog to stay away from topics that may detract from the message of promoting Africa as a serious and legitimate investment destination. However, in not addressing this issue, I have ignored a lesson that life has taught me. That when it comes to tough issues, sometimes the best way to approach them is "head on". Drima, thank you for waking me up on the issue.
My thoughts on corruption, as it pertains to doing business in Africa, are that one should strive to do open and honest business. Rather than summarize my response to Drima, to keep this post a little more concise, please refer to the original post. Now, that you know my thoughts on corruption let us look at a few facts, figures, & observations:
- According to the World Bank, at a UN conference, the world wide cost of corruption is $1.5 trillion USD.
- Nigeria's President, Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo, said that corruption costs African countries an estimated 25% of it's combined national incomes.
- Corruption costs African economies up to $148billion USD per year.
- Corruption scares away investors
- Development efforts of a nation are thwarted by corruption.
- Large numbers in Africa perceive their elected officials to be corrupt.
- For every government official offering favors for money, there are at least one to two corporations willing to pay.
- Some in the business community see this as the only way to secure government contracts.
- Without bribing it takes too long to start a business in Africa.
Additional related resources:
- African Institute of Corporate Citizenship
- Business Action for Africa
- Transparency International
- Convention on Business Integrity, Nigeria
- Private Enterprise Foundation, Ghana
- Center for Corporate Governance, Kenya
- UN Convention on Corruption
Thank you again, Drima! You are very insightful.
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