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Last Updated: Friday, 4 November 2005, 19:16 GMT
How can we fight corruption?
brown envelope changing hands
It is said that few people's lives in Africa are free of the effects of corruption, from corrupt politics at national level to everyday bribes at a personal level.

Corruption undermines economic growth, creates institutional mismanagement and hurts society by holding back economic development at all levels.

Some governments do try to combat corruption, with well-publicised trials of officials. However, it is generally accepted that we all need to confront corruption in daily life to defeat it.

How does corruption affect your life? What can we do as individuals to fight it? How should we deal with those found guilty of corruption? Will we ever be free of it?

This debate has now closed.


Your comments:

We have a saying that when the mother lamb eats the younger ones watch
John, Freetown Sierra Leone
The first step in the fight against corruption is to ensure that the process is enshrined in the constitution. All offenders should be made to face the full wrath of the law. It should start with the heads of government. In Nigeria we have a saying that when the mother lamb eats the younger ones watches.
John, Freetown, Sierra Leone

The war against corruption in Liberia can only be successfully fought if all corrupt office bearers are kicked out of government.
Stephen G. Wonbenyakeh,Monrovia

The only way to fight corruption is to name and shame those responsible and develop transparent systems of governance at all levels.
Sonny,UK

With the gap between the rich and poor getting wider and wider we can only win this battle when we begin by closing this gap.
Nii Adotey Obuo, USA

We should start by voting out the corrupt leaders
Chris Munge, Kenya

The fight against corruption should start from the grass root by voting out the corrupt leaders and also the trend of recycling leaders should stop, I believe there are more potential and development conscious leaders who have not been given a chance.
Chris Munge, Kiambu, Kenya

Start by bringing corrupt leaders past and present especially in to justice. If this does not send out a clear message to the rest of the population nothing will.
Adebanjo, Nigeria / London

The United Nations Organisation, should set up an international mechanism seriously to fight the phenomenon.
Kasibante Moses, Uganda.

We cannot fight corruption when everyone sees it as a normal thing
Veronica Kwabla, Accra
Africa will only be free from corruption when sound economic, political and social measures are put in place to improve the quality of life of people. Corruption usually starts at home; what do you expect of children who are taught to show so-called appreciation for what is otherwise their fundamental human right when they grow up? We cannot fight corruption when everyone sees it as a normal thing.
Veronica Kwabla, Accra, Ghana

Corruption retards progress and makes its victims poorer every day. In order to combat it, those guilty of corrupt practices should be punished severely. We cannot be free of corruption but we can definitely minimize it.
Chea Wesseh, Liberia

We have heard so many African presidents talk about their zeal to crack corruption, yet when you look in their cabinet, you will certainly find ministers accused of corruption still enjoying the privileges of running government offices. How can they convince the people you they lead that they can fight corruption?
Mazuba Mwiinga, Monze, Zambia

The only way to fight corruption is if we the people are willing to stand in line, wait for our turn and follow normal procedures to get service.
Jacob Sax Conteh, Virginia, US

Fighting corruption is a process that should be carried out logically. Which country is the least corrupt? If we can identify the country, the next logical thing is to ask why it is not corrupt? We can then learn from their answers.
Sankoh Hassan, Bujumbura

Just slam travel bans on leaders suspected to be corrupt
George Otieno, Nairobi
There are many ways of tackling corruption and the one deterrent that I know would work is legislation to allow repossession of money and property acquired through corrupt means. The other is what Britain, USA and probably the EU is doing; just slam travel bans on leaders suspected of being corrupt. It will work wonders!
George Otieno, Nairobi, Kenya

You and I should play our part in uprooting corruption
Yengi Desmond Tutu Soti, Uganda
The solution to corruption, is to view it as my and your responsibility, not that of presidents, police and multi-national companies. You and I should play our part in uprooting corruption.
Yengi Desmond Tutu Soti, Adjumani, Uganda

There was a time (1960 - 1980) when there was negligible corruption in Nigeria. At that time, there was security of life and property, there was rule of law and there was job security in government service. My salary as a young doctor in a Nigerian Teaching Hospital, in 1981, was more than that of my equivalent colleague in New York. There were no incentives to corruption at all. But from the mid 1980s, the rule of law vanished and the private sector was deliberately annihilated by the military in power. The main source of money became the government. Since then, incentives to corruption have been at a peak.
Dr Gabriel Ogah, Lagos, Nigeria

Yes! If we stop going to the chief's palace and "knocking his doors" with drinks each time we breeze in there with our problems.
Abubakar Ibrahim, Accra, Ghana

We can fight corruption simply by been sincere.
King Mohamed, Monrovia, Liberia

Corruption is ably supported by multi-national corporations who loot the resources of Africans with the collaboration of African elites.
Mohammed Bashir, UK

Corruption is transferred from generation to generation. It is not something to wake up to one morning and put an end to. Governments must put up campaigns and arrest those engaging in this act without taking sides. Schools must introduce programmes to educate youngsters about this vice.
Josiah Imbuga Ambula, Kisumu, Kenya

Anti-corruption bodies should not be funded by governments
Hankie Uluko, Lilongwe, Malawi
Anti-corruption bodies should not be funded by governments, otherwise the 'big man' influence is still there.
Hankie Uluko, Lilongwe, Malawi

We in Africa need a strong dose of determination to fight corruption.
Sidney, Mufulira, Zambia

By being less greedy
Peter Kalu-Obuba

The truth is that corruption kills
Josephat M Mua, USA
I am very happy BBC producers brought up this topic. I wondered what took so long. The truth is that corruption kills. If we are to have a successful future as people, we must promote a clean and honest government. In addition, we must strengthen transparency and accountability in governance. Lastly, civil society and private sector must work hand in hand with anticorruption unit or office and the police to fight corruption.
Josephat M Mua, Kenyan in the USA

I think governments must publicly try corrupt officials and if they are found guilty, they must be disgraced.
Emman, USA

Insecurity and poverty are the main causes of corruption. These will have to be tackled before corruption can be minimised.
Taiwo Olateju, London

The simple way to fight corruption is this; "Don't ask, don't give".
Uche, Nigeria

It is unfortunate that South Africa is even contemplating dismantling the Scorpions (the anti-corruption police unit). I think that such an agency should serve as a model for other governments that are serious about fighting corruption. Punishing culprits (both givers and receivers) should deter others from engaging in such a nefarious activity.
Evans Assuming, Staten Island, USA

Any person found guilty should be sentenced to death.
Duop Chak Wuol, USA

It seems like corruption runs in our bloodstream. We in Africa need to do something about it.
Padai Chol, USA

There is no way you will eliminate this in Africa given how poor and dysfunctional we are! Never!!
Mesfin, Eritrean in USA

It is lack of development that breeds corruption
Liban, Oromia, Ethiopia
It is lack of development that breeds corruption. Just look at the incredible level of corruption that underpins the US's conduct of war and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. Think of the way contracts are awarded to the trusted corporations and cronies of the current US administration without any transparent bidding process. Yet, Americans are not less prosperous for the corruption and massive wastage of tax payers' dollars by their rulers.
Liban, Oromia, Ethiopia

The solution for corruption is regular free and fair elections.
Ahmed Kateregga Musaazi, Kampala, Uganda

In Africa corruption is mainly based on the lack of job security
Abdalla Jama
As long as there are no checks and balances there will always be corruption. If a soldier or government official cannot make two ends meet the alternative is corruption. In Africa corruption is mainly based on the lack of job security, lack of proper controls and lack of payroll adjustment to the standard of living. There is also no free press to point a finger.
Abdalla Jama

Fighting corruption in Africa is a complex project. We can only reduce corruption, it cannot be completely eradicated. Dangerous corruption was one of the main reasons I left Nigeria.
Kaseem Farayola, Canada

Corruption is the most evil act on mankind in the world
Peter Tuach, USA
Corruption is the most evil act on mankind in the world. I was pleased when I heard recently the new southern Sudanese leader General Kir Mayardit pledged that one of his top priorities is to fight corruption bravely in his government. This is a positive development for a new leader. I strongly agree with those who say, corruption hurts most people.
Peter Tuach, USA

Many countries cannot clean their own systems because those who are supposed to do the job are themselves corrupt. In many instances they blame foreign companies or foreign governments for corrupting their own people. In Europe things are not any better... do not misrepresent a global situation.
Olu, Abuja, Nigeria

To Olu, Abuja, Nigeria: Yes, corruption is a global phenomenon. But what sets our continent apart is that governments in other countries do also attempt to perform their elementary functions - in many cases, very successfully indeed. In our case, governments do not accept that they have any responsibilities towards our long-suffering people (except when they need to impress the aid agencies). And the kind of thoughtless complacency you have just shown merely encourages that parasitic and shameless dependency on aid, while consigning our people to unnecessary suffering.
UE, UK/Nigeria

The fight is something that requires the collective resolve of the entire citizenry
Kyrian C Echekwu, Nigeria
I sincerely believe that there is no way we can fight corruption, without putting in place the necessary moral principles and ethics of government. Above all, the fight is something that requires the collective resolve of the entire citizenry.
Kyrian C Echekwu, Nigeria

Playing functional and societal roles whilst holding a government post brings about more corruption. We must all learn to avoid playing both roles at the same time, not minding race, creed or religion in our jobs.
Jacob Shaibu Ekele, Port Harcourt, Nigeria





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