On Corruption and Corrupters

By Versi, Anver | African Business, November 1996 | Go to article overview

On Corruption and Corrupters


Versi, Anver, African Business


Read any article about Africa, particularly in the Western press, and the one word that will keep popping up every two or three sentences, sometimes several times in a single sentence is: Corruption.

Africa and corruption, it would seem, are like Siamese twins joined at the head, the belly, the hip and the ankle. According to many in the West, African leaders, African businessmen, African states, African citizens, even African animals, if the story in a "quality" British broadsheet is to be believed, are corrupt to the core. Africans: I have been told and I am sure so have you, cannot help but be corrupt, they are naturally corrupt, corruption is part and parcel of their cultures.

Is this really true? Are we really that bad compared to others?

One person who set out to discover some answers to this question is that redoubtable lady, Dr Frene Ginwalla, the Speaker of the South African Parliament. She was invited through the auspices of Transparency International, the anti-corruption NGO, to address a European Business Ethics Conference on international corruption in Frankfurt not so long ago.

What she had to say burst like a bombshell among her stunned audience.

Yes, Africa and most of the Third World is corrupt, she said. But the head and fountain of that corruption is the very entity that is pointing admonishing fingers at us - in short, the North.

Corruption always involves two parties - the giver and the taker. But, Dr Ginawalla asserted, "popular perceptions of corruption are culturally value-laden, focussing on those who receive the pay-offs and away from those who make the payments". The other side of the transaction - bribery- is ignored. "The dictionary makes no such distinction," she said, "both are corrupt."

"The truth," she told her audience of high-level business people, "is that international corruption is often tacitly supported and actively encouraged by Western countries. While most countries have laws against domestic corruption, only one - the USA -has made it illegal to bribe foreign officials. Many countries consider bribes to be legitimate business expenses that are deductible for tax purposes."

This was the case, she said, in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Switzerland: "Thus governments actively encourage their companies to indulge in bribery instead of taking steps to stop them."

Lord Young, she told her rapt audience, the former British Cabinet Minister and now Chairman of Cable and Wireless, reportedly claimed that bribery abroad is job creation at home, while a German priest warned a German businessman that it was positively immoral not to bribe abroad if that meant a loss of jobs in Germany!

Mickey Kantor, the US Secretary of Commerce said earlier this year that his Government was aware of almost 100 cases in which foreign bribes had undercut the ability of US firms to win contracts valued at $45bn in the 12 months before May 1995. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

On Corruption and Corrupters
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.