To Fight Corruption, Africa Must Explore Innovative Solutions

28 Mar 2016 by Njoya Tikum

Anti-corruption initiatives must be an integral part of national development plans.
Over the past 15 years, almost every African country - some willingly, others under duress - has embarked on wide-ranging reforms aimed at strengthening state accountability and eradicating corruption. But despite these efforts, corruption persists, as evidenced by multiple indices. Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), which estimates perceived levels of public sector corruption based on expert opinion, reveals that 40 out Sub-Saharan Africa’s 46 States have a “serious problem” with corruption”. The continent’s powerhouses such as Nigeria and South Africa are among them, while Somalia tops the ranking as the world’s most corrupt country. States do not fare any better with their own publics. A 2011-2013 Afrobarometer survey which consulted 51,000 people in 34 African countries, found the continent’s population overwhelmingly skeptical about national anti-corruption measures. 56 percent of respondents stated their country did a "fairly bad” or “very bad" job countering corruption, while only 35 percent said their governments had done “well” or “very well”. The trust deficit between the state and the public is worsened when Anti-Corruption Agencies are seen as set up in response to external pressure, and kept deliberately weak with a lack of qualified personnel and material resources, and funded at the Executive’s discretion … Read more

When China sneezes, Africa should not catch a cold

14 Mar 2016

Trade between China and Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) has increased by an average of 30% per year since 2003. Photo: UNDP China.
China’s economy is slowing down. High economic growth rates averaged 10% between 2004 and 2014. But in 2015, growth declined to 6.9%, the lowest in 25 years. The 3,000 member National People’s Congress (NPC), in its 13th Five-Year Plan, just announced that growth will range between 6.5 and 7% in 2016. China’s slowdown is having unpleasant repercussions for African economies, particularly to the commodity-exporting ones.  Trade between China and Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) has increased by an average of 30% per year since 2003. China is now the single largest trading partner, importing 86% of the region’s metals, ores, oil and gas. The slowdown in China means demand for African’s commodities will decline. China is structurally changing its economy. The plan is to shift from an export-oriented and public investment-driven economy to a domestic demand-driven, modern manufacturing and service-oriented one. China is also cutting back on the excess capacity built around steel making and coal production. According to the Xinhua News Agency, China “entered what policymakers refer to as the “new normal”, a phase of moderating growth based more on consumption than the previous mainstay of exports.” The impact of China’s shift on Africa is already evident. One example is Zambia. … Read more

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