n Ubuntu : Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation - Curbing bureaucratic corruption in Africa

Volume 2, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 2078-760X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4950


The challenge of corruption elicits world-wide attention and concern. There is a global consensus that corruption has deleterious effects on every area of organized society and needs to be brought under control, contained, reduced, and ultimately, eradicated. Much effort is being spent in the fight against corruption. Strategies and mechanisms have been put in place in different countries as part of such efforts and these have attained varying degrees of success. This paper evaluates the efforts of African nations in fighting bureaucratic corruption. It focuses on bureaucratic corruption because of the centrality of the bureaucracy to forms of corruption associated with political and economic terrains and processes and to the capacity of the state to effect socio-economic development. The paper argues that no effort at controlling, reducing and eradicating corruption will succeed without citizen and people participation in the formulation and enforcement of anti-corruption laws and programmes; that curbing bureaucratic corruption in particular, requires that citizens have the authority to effect arrest and prosecution of suspected offenders. This paper highlights key norms, strategies, and regimes that have been established to combat corruption across the African continent. It locates bureaucracy in the political economy, identifies the inherent and external challenges facing the anti-corruption strategies, regimes and mechanisms and gauges their potential for success. It also identifies the major challenges and promises attending the anti-corruption programmes of African countries. Among the key challenges are policy discontinuity, political apathy, poverty, lack of independent media, and the inadequacy of legal frameworks. For a country that tackles the challenges seriously, the promises include the development of a virile civil society, enlightened and responsible citizens, increased democratization, further deepening of the political will to fight corruption, and a front-seat in the consolidation of global opposition to corruption.

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