‘A Youth-led Corruption Free Africa’

In recognition that the African Union is celebrating Africa Youth Day 2018 on the subject  ‘Raising Youth Voices Against Corruption in Africa’

….and that it is encouraging African youth to raise awareness of corruption issues in their communitieswe respectfully ask the following comments from 5 selected countries to be noted:-

 

  • In Mali corruption is a daily activity in all sectors of public administration. A commission called “The Office of the Auditor General” which aims to control the public finances is not effective. Corruption affects many sectors such as health, the army and education. One must have ‘connections’ in the public administration to hope for better health care, a normal school education etc. 
  • In Ethiopia corruption is especially prevalent in the Land distribution and administration sectors. Facilitation payments, as well as bribes, are demanded from local and international investors. Public procurement is seriously hampered by corruption, and different types of irregularities exist, such as non-transparent tender processes and awarding contracts to people with a close connection to the government and ruling party.
  • In Somalia, corruption is part of daily living practice in the public, private and civil society sector. Normal public services like information, job and scholarships opportunities and other forms of assistance are all based on corruption – who you know and not what you know. Clan and family ties and nepotism that denies the minority indigenous, ethnic and most vulnerable groups are especially affected leading to illegal emigration and alliance to extremist groups. Dominant private practice companies restrict the competitive market. The deaths of many prominent and emerging leaders like Abass Siraji, the first Minister to table a debate for healthy, accountable and transparent leadership and governance was killed in an action spearheaded by National Property/Assets Auditor. Whilst the Auditor was removed from office there has been no justice.
  • In Cameroon, corruption is rife in almost all sectors of the Government but particularly so in the judiciary, public services, and Customs. The legal and regulatory systems are non-transparent and difficult for foreign companies to navigate. There is a lack of effective regulation, insufficient law enforcement and significant delays in courts. Whilst Cameroon’s Penal Code criminalizes corruption, extortion, and bribery of foreign public officials, punishable by a prison term and fines/asset seizure, insufficient implementation coupled with impunity among public officials has exacerbated the levels of corruption in Cameroon.
  • In Nigeria, whilst the the Open Government Partnership (OGP ), with equal representations on the steering committee, has been set up in the hope that Government Contracts will not get inflated and fraud and fund misappropriation will be reduced, most of the elective positions are  being recycled and assumed to be corrupt. Votes buying during elections has taken over the electoral system  – the interests of the rich get priority. The rich also evade tax and go free.  Some Governors insist their closest allies should succeed them. There is a lack of Community participation in the budget system.  

In light of the above we respectfully recommend the following:

  • Widespread anti-corruption awareness campaigns should be held prior to General Elections.
  • All Government Ministers should declare assets when elected.
  • Anti-corruption rules of law should be respected and followed.
  • Stolen money should be recovered and invested back into the economy.
  • People should be recruited on merit alone.
  • An independent anti-corruption unit should be manned by civil society.
  • Moral decay should be tackled and a values system established.
  • There should be a living minimum wage.
  • Lessons from countries like Rwanda with successful anti-corruption strategies should be learnt.
  • The African Union should be more supportive of active youth led organisations in their community development work.
  • The African Union should support a youth-led seminar to discuss these issues

#BetheFutureToday #BetheVibe #AfricaYouthDay #YouthAgainstCorruption

Further subsequent contributions

  • In Gambia we used to have a regime that was considered a brutal dictatorship. We had a successful change of Government but the current one seems incapable. Before it was the State against the ordinary people but now its the ordinary people divided based on tribal line or political affiliations. Meanwhile  Government officials are busy looting the public funds. 
  • Uganda is grappling with Corruption at almost all levels which is stifling development. Worst of all is that in the Judiciary as justice can not be served.