The African continent is indeed blessed with everything it needs to become one of the richest continents in the world, but many years of political upheavals and incredibly high levels of corruption perpetrated by many officials, involved in channelling public funds for personal use has, effectively, crippled the continent’s potential and slow its growth tremendously.
The absence of secured and open access to information and transparency, which forms the key tools in the fight against corruption on the African continent, has been fully leveraged by some players, who have wrongly benefited from perpetrating corrupt practices. The continent, thus, continues to struggle and grope in the dark from the effects of corruption.
Africa is indeed a young continent with huge potential augmented by the enormous concentration of natural resources, which includes crude oil, copper, diamonds, bauxite, lithium, gold, hardwood forests, tropical fruits, etc., sprawling through its plains.
Africa is, in fact, believed to have the concentration of 30 per cent of the world’s mineral resources, but where did it all go wrong for Africa? How come the continent has been ranked as the poorest continent in the world with many of its people living below the poverty line?
Presently, the entire Gross Domestic Product of Africa combined is not any close to a third, of the United States’ GDP. What a shame!
There is hardly a day that goes by that one is inundated with one corruption news or the other, involving huge sums of money, on the continent. These are funds that would have been utilised in upgrading and rejuvenating these African countries and transform them to the likes of Singapore and Dubai in the UAE.
In 2017, the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index ranked South Africa 71 out of 180 countries, where corruption thrives. This is a one of the leading economies of Africa and that is the narration for many other African countries. Nigeria’s position is poor to say the least, appalling and shameful.
According to a study carried out by the World Bank, North African countries lose the equivalent of two per cent of GDP per year due to corrupt activities, which occurs as a result of public procurement contracts awarded to undeserving businesses through a system of “wasta” ( this means patronage or a special influence, through connections, in Arabic).
Foreigners are dissuaded from investing in Africa while some that have invested are packing up and leaving Africa for many reasons, among which corruption is one.
There has, however, been a series of moves to rid the African continent of the bane of corruption. To effectively eradicate corruption in Africa, deliberate and specific steps need to the taken and this is where taking advantage of technology comes in. African countries can weigh in on technology to curb the embarrassing corruption occurring on the continent.
Over the years, technology has evolved exponentially, generating gargantuan data that has eventually become an essential part of the history of man’s evolution, shaping his future and how he relates — Finish Reading on the Punch