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Fight against corruption: some reflection routes for African heads of state concludes Addis Ababa

By Magaye Gaye
Tigrai Online, updated Jan. 29, 2018

The 30th summit of the African Union opened  in Addis Ababa
The 30th summit of the African Union opened this Sunday, January 28 in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia


The 30th summit of the African Union opened this Sunday, January 28 in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. On this occasion, the Heads of State and Government of the Continent should focus on a central theme: corruption with the theme "Win the fight against corruption: a sustainable path towards the transformation of Africa".

Corruption and a global scourge that affects all continents:

It can be defined as the misuse of a power for private purposes and is for a decision-maker to do or refrain from doing, to facilitate an act or transaction, by its function, in exchange for a promise, a benefit. A phenomenon that is exacerbated by globalization, and of which some of the characteristics are the purchase of conscience and illicit enrichment to the detriment of the community, it concerns, in a broad sense, vague segments of society. These range from the official who disregards compliance with the regulation for a few straight passes, to the decision maker using his prerogatives to facilitate procurement. This contribution focuses on the type of major corruption that often leads to currency leaks that are detrimental to the economy. Africa is fully concerned by the phenomenon since it loses according to a report commissioned by the African Union to Mr Thabo Mbeki the former President of the Republic South Africa between 50 and 80 billion dollars annually, against a help net development estimated by the OECD at nearly $ 100 billion in 2016.

The causes of corruption are multiple and seem to be explained by several factors, of which human rivalries fundamentally lead to bidding in terms of wealth acquisition. With regard to Africa, the cultural context marked by the preponderance of the family, the existence of factors of political and religious influence, the strong social demand expressed by the social groups because of a galloping poverty but also the strong demands for solidarity often lead managers managing public goods to enrich themselves unexpectedly. The exacerbation of the phenomenon is linked to the persistence of impunity.

Corruption manifests itself in several ways: exporters repatriating a tiny part of export earnings, the rest being accounted for in front companies located in exporting countries, overcharging of public markets, payment of commission or even of retro-commission.

The economic and social consequences of corruption are real. In addition to the African Union mentioned above, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates the annual losses incurred by the Continent at about 148 billion, representing a 25% decrease in growth. GDP. Moreover, in addition to undermining the unifying foundations of society by promoting non-compliance with the rules and breaking the principle of equality of citizens before the law, it is economically harmful by its overcharging dimension that obeys the meager resources of the state. This financial windfall that goes out illegally and escapes the control of the economy represents a big shortfall that could have allowed to build schools of health centers and allow to fight more effectively against youth unemployment which constitutes a real endemic on the Continent. By promoting delinquent agreements and collusion of interests, it often fragile, especially in the award of public contracts, the quality of products and services consumed nationally.


Given the inefficiency of repressive measures, one of the solutions to be explored in the short term in the fight against corruption seems to reside in the capacity of countries hit by the scourge to set reference prices to better control overbilling. New Information and Communication Technologies should also be exploited as part of an alert strategy. Of course, genuine economic growth strategies coupled with effective redistributive policies are remedies to be explored. At the international level, the IMF as guarantor of the international financial system should also participate in the search for solutions by calling on States to take greater responsibility, particularly in the control of financial flows leaving for tax havens. In the longer term, it is important to strengthen civic education modules in order to instil in young people good practices.

Magaye GAYE
Economist consultant
President of the political party Senegalese the third way
Magaye GAYE writes numerous forums in world media