The Curious Case Of Corruption In Africa – Peter Yakobe


Corruption has been retarding development in Africa and has disturbed the major operations in all sectors of society in Africa. These include the education sector, the agricultural sector, the health and business sectors just to mention a few. In all of these sectors, the major operations have been retarding because people in these sectors have been involved in rampant corruption at the expense of the poor people.

Every individual in one form or another has been affected by corruption. Many people who were supposed to face punishment for breaking the law have been going freely through corruption. Many accidents have been happening on African roads and highways because the policemen were involved in corruption and they allowed careless drivers to drive for free after accepting a bribe. People have been dying of treatable illnesses in various African hospitals because one man was involved in corrupt practices and he swindled the money instead of buying the medicine for the benefit of the whole nation or community.

Many developments have gone down and others have failed to be completed because the people in charge were involved in corruption and the money has been abused. In short we can say Africa has been developing slowly because of corruption, which has been growing almost every day. It has reached the extent that even most government officials who says they are ending corruption, are the most corrupt. Indeed corruption has let us down.

Many people who have refused to participate in corruption have been seen as people who are out of fashion, and have been called all sorts of names by their fellows. Many people who have refused to take part in corruption today, are poor and have no access to some things and services because they refused to buy favour from some people. We have many graduates in Africa today who are just walking on the streets with no jobs because they refused to bribe a boss of a certain company who promised them a job only but only after being paid a bribe. The list of the negative effects of corruption in Africa is endless, and the cry of the people who have suffered due to corruption is unending. Many people have now taken corruption as part of life; they cannot live without it. Others just say, “that’s how things are supposed to be, if you refuse you will not succeed”. They do these things with a selfish motive without considering the poor people in our villages. I have been asking myself why many people are involved in corruption and I have found out that there are many reasons to that. Some of them are lack of satisfaction with what the people have and lack of patriotism. When the people are involving themselves in corruption, they do not consider some people who live in the villages and those who were supposed to be the beneficiaries. When the traffic policemen permit worn-out vehicles to move on the road, they do not think of the passengers who will use the taxis. Assuming the taxi gets involved in an accident because of the problem, the ones to suffer will be the passengers and their families. The police officers who received money from the driver and let the taxi go, will not lose anything. The country will lose citizens who could have contributed to the development of the country just because a policeman received some coins in form of bribery.

Ending corruption has been a hard game because even the people who have been at the forefront of ending corruption have been the most corrupt of all the people. Although many plans to end corruption have proved futile, I strongly believe that corruption can be made “unattractive” in Africa. It is now time to give corruption an exit in Africa, and it is possible.


Peter Yakobe is a leader of Students For Liberty in Malawi and a member of Students For Liberty Africa Executive Board

photo: Peter Yakobe

Speaking of corruption in Africa