‘Copycats’? Exploring the implication of political and bureaucratic corruption pestilences in Sub-Saharan Africa

In the JEFCAS_Working_Paper_3,  the author explores the implication of entrenched political and bureaucratic corruption pestilences in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The paper observes that corruption is not atypical of  SSA but it has reached an unprecedented level in the continent yet there is no solution in sight.

The central argument of this conversation is that political and bureaucratic corruption pestilences are ‘copycats’ which have been institutionalized and decentralized with a social functional value.

I derive four subsidiary controversial arguments to support the above claim, that:

  • although corruption in Africa covers diverse practices, political and bureaucratic corruption are more visible and entrenched in state institutions.
  • corruption is a balanced equation between demand and supply. Political and bureaucratic corruption in Africa is encouraged on the one hand by the complicity of actors from ‘outside’ the continent who demand the ‘loots’ from the continent and, on the other hand, by corrupt leaders who supply the market with the ‘highly demanded’ stolen wealth from the continent.
  • perpetrators of political and bureaucratic corruption view the practice as ‘legitimate’ and  not problematic.
  • at present, curbing political and bureaucratic corruption in SSA does not require any political solution; it calls for a new solution since the existing anti-corruption frameworks have failed to work. Perhaps the vice may be significantly reduced when it is ‘legalized’. I argue that legalizing corruption has the potential of making it reach a peak of ‘hurting stalemate’ thereby resulting in the loss of its utility. This, hopefully, will evoke all possible ‘genuine’ actions  and energy to reduce opportunities for economic rent on which corruption thrives.

 

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