Governments are responsibility for the state of their respective nations. These regimes must focus on the welfare of their citizens along with internal and external harmony. This is the essence of governance that all countries especially the underdeveloped ones must always be aware of. Corruption is the number one problem that continues to hinder economic progress in Africa.
Nigeria – 568.508
South Africa – 352.817
Egypt – 291.538
Algeria – 214.063
Angola – 131.401
In the wake of rampant corruption throughout Nigeria’s government departments, President Muhammadu Buhari has required all revenue-producing entities including the state-controlled oil firm to deposit revenues in one treasury account rather than untracked private bank accounts.
This is meant to address a 10-year lack of control with regards to government income. More than $6 billion worth of public finances will be transferred to Nigeria’s Central Bank. In the past, the previous regime established an Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offenses Commission or ICPC and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission or EFCC for the implementation of civil service, financial, and banking reforms. The Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit was also created as mechanism for due process. Unfortunately, said reforms were relatively ineffective because these lacked the potentials of eliminating corruption in the long-term. Modifications should be made to go with good timing in the delivery of services to Nigerians.
Late President Nelson Mandela brought light to South Africa.
Corrupt practices in South Africa stretched to shocking proportions which cast doubts on the uprightness of the public sector. In fact, the country’s corruption index (Transparency International) slipped by 20 positions during the last 5 years. The government has introduced measures to curb the surge of corruption threatening to put pressure on the nation’s volatile economy.
Private companies have been compelled to follow recommendation of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to minimize corruption. This led to the enactment of the Companies Act Regulations.
Anti-corruption crusaders have continuously implored South African officials to pass legislation similar to United Kingdom’s Bribery Act of 2010 and United States Corrupt Practices Act. South Africa ratified numerous global and regional conferences as well as treaties such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) that mandate the country to take concrete steps in fighting and preventing corruption. The government maintains it is committed to create independent agencies to fight dishonesty and fraud with sufficient resources. It appears on paper that South Africa is good in combating corrupt activities at least on paper.
Egypt remains unstable several years after it attained independence. Egyptians rose against the inherent system of corruption that plagued the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak. The political turmoil led to the installation of a government supported by the armed forces. However, human right violations, brutality violence and suppression worsened recently. Corruption remains a principal concern in Egypt as the country’s law enforcement authorities undercut the rule of law.
The Egyptian government is said to espouse a compelling legal structure to avert and suppress corruption notwithstanding the lack of wide-ranging anti-corruption laws, freedom of information legislation and protection for whistleblower for informers. The basic issue lies on the correct implementation of current decrees. There are many institutions involved in waging a war against corruption but absence of corruption produces confusion and intersecting responsibilities. Last year, the Egyptian Government launched an anti-corruption strategy to sustain its present efforts.
The Algerian Government is engaged in high-profile cases of corruption which included the case of former minister for energy Chakib Khelil.
Three years ago, 90% of Algerian citizens insisted that there is corruption in government offices although only 41% believed the government was trying to seriously get rid of the problem.
In 2013, the perception became quite positive as only 78% claimed corruption was still a problem and 52% of the population was convinced that the regime was doing something about it. A criminal court in Algeria has sentenced at least 14 individuals and penalized seven foreign corporations in a glamorous corruption case described as the “scandal of the century.”
Those involved were Canadian, European and Asian companies which were ordered to settle $56.4 million each. Convicted was Chani Medjoub from Luxembourg and Mohamed Khelladi, a top official of the public works ministry. This incident stresses the importance of enacting more laws against corrupt acts, money laundering and public fund misappropriation.
Angola is coming from almost 30 years of armed conflicts and instability. It is confronted with serious challenges of corruption in all echelons of society and inept governance. Corruption is manifested by misuse of government funds, pillaging of state resources, dishonesty in the bureaucracy, and inherent patronage politics. The extent of corruption along with unprofessional conduct is evident in private enterprises. Yet, the general legal and institutional foundation for anti-corruption is insufficient. President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos was adamant that his government has a zero tolerance rule versus corruption.
The National Assembly has enacted comprehensive law to resolve this problem. Angola has a Law on Administrative Probity or Decency and penal code that makes it a crime for private corporations to connive with government officials in business activities.
Algeria also integrated into the nation’s legislation the Protocol against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption. The key for all African nations is to have a strong commitment to sustain the crusade against corruption both in the public and private sectors.