Corruption and bribery are used synonymously of which they are not the same. Bribery is a type and one of the manifestations of corruption. It is one intractable challenge that has bedeviled developing countries particularly Africa of which Ghana is no exception.
Corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire illicit benefit. Corruption is one of the most destructive impediment to economic and social development, it takes away resources from the common pool and deprives a large population of partaking in the share of the national cake. Despite Ghana’s good governance and democratic credentials, corruption still remains cancerous in our public service and society.
Corruption manifests itself in diverse ways such as bribery, embezzlement, theft and fraud, graft, extortion and blackmail, influence peddling, networking, abuse of discretion, favoritism and nepotism. According to Transparency International, Ghana was ranked 81st among 180 countries in the world in their Corruption Perception Index 2017. It is estimated that Ghana was losing over US$3 Billion, equivalent to GH₵13.8 Billion annually through corruption whilst in the same vein Africa too lost US$100 Billion yearly.
Currently, we can concretely say that corruption in Ghana is not just a mere perception but inherently pervasive in the country as evidenced by the recent expose’ in GFA and judiciary. Corruption in the judiciary is serious as this organ of the state is expected to adjudicate, preserve and safeguard the laws that protect the citizens. However, if significant members of the bench could easily be compromised then Ghana is in a state of dilemma whereas GFA, the watchdog of sports also compromised. There are several incidents of corrupt practices in Ghana for example; Police service: where police men accept monies from drivers, Churches: Elders and leaders use church money for their personal activities, Traditional leaders: Chiefs and elders of our communities sell a portion of land to more peoples, Homes: Mothers use house monies satisfy their desires instead of otherwise, among student Leaders, Tax Administration, Custom Administration, Public Procurement, Legislation, Civil Society etc.
Corruption is caused by greed of money, power, and luxury or any other materialistic desires, weak civil participation and low political transparency, low press freedom, higher level of bureaucracy and insufficient administrative structures.
There is no silver bullet for fighting corruption. Various governments have adopted different approaches to eradicate the pervasive corruption that exists in the country. For example, the erstwhile administration of President Agyekum Kuffour declared a “zero-tolerance to corruption”. Amidst the strategies adopted by ruling governments, Ghana still lags behind and ranks poorly in the fight against the age-old canker-corruption. Transparency International came out with some ways in which corruption can be curbed
End Impunity: Effective law enforcement is essential to ensure the corrupt are punished and break the cycle of impunity, or freedom from punishment or loss, there should be a strong legal framework for enforcement.
Reform Public Administration and Finance Management: Reforms focusing on improving finance management and strengthening the role of auditing agencies in many countries achieved greater impact than public sector reforms on curbing corruption. One such reform is the disclosure of budget information, which prevents waste and misappropriation of resource.
Promote Transparency: Countries successful at curbing corruption have a long tradition of government openness, freedom of press, transparency and access to information. Access to information increase the responsiveness of government bodies, while simultaneously having a positive effect on the levels of public participation in a country.
Empower Citizen: Strengthening citizen’s demand for anti-corruption and empowering them to hold government accountable is a sustainable approach that helps to build mutual trust between citizens and government.
Close International Loopholes: Without access to the international financial system, corrupt public officials throughout the world would not be able launder and hide the proceeds of looted state assets. Major financial Centers urgently need to put in place ways to stop their banks and cooperating offshore financial centers from absorbing illicit flows of money.
“The duty of the youth is to challenge corruption,” (Kurt Cobian)
Corruption is like a ball of snow, once it set rolling it must increase, therefore we the youth have to be up and doing to fight corruption. Vladmir Putin once said “those who fight corruption must be clean themselves”
We should educate ourselves about the benefits of integrity, transparency and good governance which will imbibe in us the good moral ethics to kick out the canker. We are the future leaders and the beacon of hope and therefore cannot accept the status quo of corrupt practices.
In conclusion, I appeal to all Ghanaians to join in the campaign to stop the canker of corruption for the preservation of the nation’s future generation.
Written By: KYEI-BAFFOUR BISMARK
POLITICAL SCIENCE L -400
Inspired by: Ohene-Mensah Elvis
Political science L-400
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."