This week, countries in the region were advised by trade experts to emulate Rwanda’s strategies of fighting corruption, as three regional blocs (COMESA, EAC and SADC) continue to integrate their economies.
COMESA members pointed out, during the two-day meeting, in Kigali, to examine how to eradicate Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) in the region, that if the war against corruption is not fought collectively, the region would fail to attain economic prosperity.
For the region to succeed at all fronts better mechanisms to fight corruption must be adopted and there must be a strong will on the part of the governments.
The vice should concern the entire region. A corrupt free-environment will not only foster trade, but will improve the welfare of the citizens.
Findings from World Bank reveal that corruption is evidently Africa’s greatest threat to economic development, as well as human survival. Indeed, like the trade experts noted, regional economic integration cannot be fully realized if some partners continue to render lip services.
Corruption undermines the rule of law and weakens the institutional foundations upon which economic growth depends. Bribery, nepotism and other forms of corruption exist in the region and this, if not eliminated, remains the greatest obstacles to economic and social development.