Efficacy for Fighting Corruption: Evidence from 36 African Countries

Thomas Isbell

03 Jul 2017

21pages PDF

Corruption is a major obstacle to economic growth, human development, and poverty reduction. The practice of demanding or expecting monetary or other benefits in exchange for preferential treatment has plagued the global South, and high-profile revelations of corruption in politics and business have shed light on the magnitude of the problem. The poor are most vulnerable to both the immediate effects of having to pay bribes or do favours and the longer-term impacts of hampered growth and weakened investment power. Recent research notes that poor citizens faced with official corruption have fewer means to seek out services from alternative providers and are thus forced to “play the game. No doubt strong and committed leadership is necessary if meaningful progress is to be made in fighting corruption. But as with any attempt to change the status quo, it is equally important that the policy be accepted, “lived,” and enforced by ordinary citizens.