The Link Between Corruption and Poverty : Lessons from Kenya Case Studies

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The Link Between Corruption and Poverty : Lessons from Kenya Case Studies

INTRODUCTION "One thing can be said-the mere fact that corruption has become an item of national preoccupation is paradoxically the first real achievement by Kenyans over corruption" Since the end of the last decade the emphasis has moved from building public awareness on corruption issues to understanding the nature of corruption and its effects on the economy, society and politics; understanding the nature of the beast as it were. The global anti-corruption movement, therefore, has moved towards research and a host of rigorous tools have been developed to study and monitor corruption wherever it takes place. Hand in hand with this, efforts to combat corruption have moved from the moral exhortation stage to a phase that has seen greater attention focussed on developing holistic anticorruption strategies that are built on equal pillars of prevention, enforcement and public education. In the past it was sometimes argued that fighting corruption meant mainly streamlining administrations and reforming bureaucratic red tape. The economic liberalisation programmes implemented by many African governments over the past decade and a half were partly put in place with the premise that the weakening of central controls on economic affairs would reduce discretionary decision-making by the govemment in economic affairs and thus corruption and inefficiency. Indeed, as you shall find in the following chapters of this book, economic liberalisation in many cases has led to new and sometimes deadly forms of corruption and economic crimes generally. What the efficiency argument proponents overlook is the fact that more often than not the inefficiencies and irritating red tape exists by design, not by accident, and that its removal is not simply a paper exercise. It is also acknowledged today that administrative reforms by themselves do not improve matters significantly, though they do help. The equation C...
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