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Donor funds fuelling corruption in Africa

Isa Senkumba

Donor funds fuelling corruption in Africa

It is the duty of citizens to strongly condemn the culture of embezzling public funds, from the top to the bottom of our social and political order. It is also true that the most corrupt officials are the well paid civil servant in the land. Is it because they have much access to public funds? The answer is partly yes because you cannot embezzle what you do not have at your disposal. The other bigger answer for the existence of corruption is societal moral degeneration. This goes ahead to show that we are having a structural problem that requires logical solutions.  

This month the Tanzanian government has terminated the contracts of several officials accused of embezzling $380, Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Japan and Germany, who all donated funds to the programme, have filed requests with the Ministry of Finance for a refund of the $380,000 saying the funds they donated were “eaten” by corrupt officials.  

In August 2013 Blantyre City Council (BCC) top officials have misappropriated donor funds amounting to K17 million meant for Chilobwe Vocational Training Centre in Malawi. The city council has been contemplating of shutting down the vocational training which has currently been turned into a primary school without the knowledge of its funders. Chilobwe Vocational Centre has not taken any intake since 2008 after the first pool of students who did not even successfully conclude their training program following the Council’s failure to pay for their examination fees.

Uganda just like other countries is also infested with the vice. Corruption in Uganda is widespread and seen as one of the greatest obstacles to the country’s economic development as well as to the provision of quality public services. Corruption-related challenges in the country stem from a weak separation between the public and private spheres, leading to extensive clientelistic practices and patronage, as well as widespread political corruption. Such corruption challenges are exacerbated by weak law enforcement, which fuels a culture of impunity, particularly with regards to high-ranking officials involved in corruption schemes

Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Uganda 130th out of 176 countries and territories, with a score of 29 out of 100, indicating a perception of widespread and endemic corruption. The country ranks 30 out of 48 countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. This is a big score and record for a country struggling to take its citizens into the middle income earners

I have a feeling that donor funding is only fueling corruption in the country because there is always something to steal, anyway. The culture in most of Africa is hopelessly flawed. The problem in Africa is not poverty, resources or education. All of these could be fixed in a decade. One needs only to look at the explosion in China to see this happening. Africa suffers from a deadly combination of immorality, greed, laziness and corruption. There is not enough money in the world to fix this. In fact, money only makes the problem worse.

Historically the idea of the foreign aid started after World War II. Institutions like the World Bank and the IMF were founded in 1944. The Marshall Plan (1947) was a major program to rebuild the war-battered European economies. In the 1960s the foreign aid flourished when most of the African Countries became independent. A basic idea was to give money to undeveloped countries that they supply raw material and manufacture light products like textiles and shoes. Right from the beginning the foreign aid was a business and the donor countries expected to benefit from the process as well. Foreign aid is given as a loan and, if the development is successful, the rich countries eventually find new ready markets for their products.  

As long as Africa still receives donor funding corruption cannot be stopped and the countries shall become more impoverished and more dependent on the Developed countries, and our leaders become more irresponsible.  Africa is mature enough to take care of herself .



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