From the earliest known time, Africa has always had it’s own form of political and social organization on which it thrived. Before the advent of various religions that came to the continent, it’s people had their traditional religions which they practiced, but this article is not going to be about religion even if we are going to espouse how these religions have aided corruption on the continent.
I have travelled enough throughout Africa to know how corruption has devastated the continent. This article shall be looking at factors that are responsible for the alarming rate of corruption on the Africa continent.
Without trying to get into any form argument about religion as people are sensitive about their faith, one cannot deny the fact that the two great religions brought good and bad news to the continent. The early Christian missionaries were not that interested in religion, for them it was a form of control mechanism to gain access to the people and resources located within a particular geographical space. Their Christian religion was to organize the people so as to take control of them, this later morphed into what was to later become the slave trade unfortunately.
The Arabs that came to Africa to spread Islam did it through violence and forced their religion on the people they conquered, they also were involved in capturing Africans as slaves and traded in it as well. We can go on and on about the atrocities advanced by these two great religions in Africa, but this is not the focus of this article.
Contrary to popularly held belief, Africa had resources to take care of it’s own people before the coming of these foreign entities who came and redefine the concept of poverty. One can always agree that Africa had and is still being plundered by these very same entities who have now taken on a new identity.
IGNORANCE & KNOWLEDGE :
As the saying goes, “What you don’t know is greater than you” is more true then than today. A lot of Africans and Africa do not even know the vast potentials that lies within them and their continent. Africa has always been held back from achieving it’s full potentials due to a very extensive lack of knowledge and ignorance. The average African believes that whatever comes from outside of the continent is superior to whatever is found on the continent, this is unfortunate. These three factors, one can safely say are the very foundation upon which corruption is built in Africa.
CORRUPTION IN AFRICA :
Sometimes perception can be reality as they say, it is common knowledge in the comity of nations that Africa as a whole is riddled with corruption, this can’t be further from the truth. It is just alarming the number of cases of corruption involving individuals and governments on the African continent. This menace is said to be responsible for extreme level of poverty on the continent, involving loss of revenue to the tune of billions and billions of dollars.
A look at governments all over Africa will reveal that, no country in Africa is immune to this menace. It is a sad commentary on the state of affairs of these countries. All one can see around the continent is political corruption, economic corruption and social corruption, which has pervaded the entire strata of society in Africa. When elections are held in African countries, the process is corrupted by what is called election rigging, a situation where election results are falsified, this is what I call political corruption.
In the case of economic corruption, elected officials don’t care about the consequences of looting the treasury of their countries completely.(this is why there are many failed states in Africa). They steal from their own people recklessly. Social corruption is responsible for the lack of social and public amenities that should be enjoyed by people on the continent, rather all we have is the non existence of social amenities, failure of public health system as evident the current pandemic ravaging the African continent. This type of social corruption is also responsible for the very short life expectancy of Africans compared to other parts of the world. Africa can address the issue of corruption in the following ways:
One of the ways Africa can address corruption is by having the right political leadership through transparent, free and fair electoral processes. A rigged electoral process will only throw up incompetent and poor political leadership on the continent. This is where the so called western world can rise up to help by insisting on proper electoral process instead of imposing incompetent leaders due to their own geopolitical considerations. Africa will never be free until it is allowed to make it’s own decisions and learn from it’s own mistakes.
The rate of illiteracy among adults in Africa is 36.6% compare to 31.3% in Asia, 27.7% in Arab states and 6.2% in Latin America and Caribbean. With this graph it clearly shows that it is important that Africa must and should spend more on education to lift it’s people out of poverty. A literate society and citizenry is bound to reduce if not eradicate corruption by a large margin. Education is a very powerful tool that can be used to fight corruption on the African continent. One must state here that corruption in no small measure is also responsible for the low level of education amongst people on the African continent because it has been established that a vast majority of those who have stolen money from their country’s treasury use this ill gotten wealth to send their children to the best schools around the world and allowing their own country’s education sector to collapse. Tis is rather unfortunate as only the poor will pay the price of this educational collapse.
COMPLICITY OF WESTERN WORLD:
This is by far the most important factor responsible for corruption on the African continent. Research has shown that a lot of looted money from Africa end up in bank accounts all over Europe, America and off shore accounts in the Caribbean islands. One of the ways in which the western world can help stem the horrible tide of corruption on the African continent is by refusing to allow it’s banking system to be used to hide looted funds, this can be done by introducing policies that will discourage the transfer of looted money to their country’s economy.
The western world should make it mandatory for elected government officials and politically exposed persons on the African continent to explain their sources of fund when buying properties or operating accounts in their countries. It is a well known fact on the continent that government officials hide their looted money in the western world and also disguise property purchases in these western world. It is important that these western countries should help in the fight against corruption to avoid the perception of their complicity in this scourge that is preventing Africa from reaching it full potentials.
Greed is evil…..Greed destroys…..but corruption kills.
Finally, Africa itself must stand up and counted in the fight against corruption, it’s people must take the bull by the horn and ensure a better future for the coming generation. It is African that will make Africa succeed.