The Concept of Bureaucratic Corruption in African and Remedies to Resolve the Problem

Topics: Africa, Political corruption, Political science Pages: 9 (3108 words) Published: September 18, 2012
The concept of bureaucratic corruption in African and remedies to resolve the problem Present interests in the political sphere of economic development has shed more light into the knowledge of the conduct of bureaucrats in the developing world and Africa in particular, and how their actions negatively influence the efficiency, organization, and the policymaking process of the entire economy of their countries. This paper will attempt to discuss corruption as seen in the world of social scientists, the causes of bureaucratic corruption in Africa and measures than can be taken in order to help clean up the political system. Social scientists have addressed the topic of corruption for several decades. In developing countries, two significant events marked the renewed interest in understanding corruption. The first major event was the progress made by Samuel Huffington in 19968 and 1990 on the theories of modernization and political development revived the debate about bureaucratic corruption including the part played by regulations and bureaucratic establishments in the economic development (Leff 1964, Huntington 1990, Myrdal 1990) in developing countries. Another event that sparked the discussion about corruption was the nature of the economies and markets of the post-colonial African and Asian countries that were filled with bureaucratic disorganizations, corruption and incompetence at the government and local levels (Lubeck 1992) notes that the “organizational incapacity of the majority of African countries, combined with weak authority relations to civil society, is a major obstacle to resolution of the development crisis.” In spite of the importance put on corruption after many African countries gained independence, little consideration has been given to the solution of clamping down on corruption in Africa and the rest of the developing world. Corruption that occurs in developing countries is thought to occur because of a clash or conflict between customary beliefs and the western standards that come with the modernization theory together with social and political factors. Therefore, bureaucratic is understood by other scholars to be inevitable consequences of modernization and advancement (Alam 1989) that accompanied the colonial era of Africa. Corruption is mostly related to the act of bribery and it includes any kind of abuse of power that results into individual gain that is not necessarily financial (Bayley 1966). Another social scientist defines political corruption as the deviation of assets destined for community usage to activities of private investment (Werlin, 1973). In the African perspective, individuals consider corruption as someone directly stealing money or other government assets, as favoritism to friends and family and as the misuse of power in order to acquire personal benefits (Harsch, 1993). According to another scholar, corruption includes action that diverges the regular responsibilities of a civil servant in support of private gain or position gain (Nye 1967). To wrap up the definition of corruption, people are involved in corruption when the society entrusts authority into the hands of an individual to carryout activities for the public but instead his or her activities only diminish the prosperity the community (Friedrich, 1990). Corruption in the bureaucratic circle offers a person who is employed in the civil service an occasion to increase their salaries more than what is allowed under regulation. Due to corruption, private entrepreneurs have the opportunity to keep a monopoly on an economic system. The public is the major loser in a corruption plagued system. Corruption tolerates less competent manufacturers to continue business operations, allows states to continue faulty commercial regulations (Mbaku, 1992). Corruption gives bureaucrats and politicians more chances to get richer at the expense of the public by accepting kickbacks from individuals and...
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