Fighting corruption in Africa is likely to take a long time and requires resolve on the part of African governments, an official at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said yesterday.
The organisation set up a joint venture last year with the African Development Bank to tackle business corruption, Patrick Moulette, head of the Paris-based OECD’s anti-bribery divisions said, Reuter reports.
“Our countries have responsibilities for corruption in Africa, multi-nationals from OECD countries, but it’s also a domestic problem,” he added.
“We want to partner with major institutions to help build their own legislation to fight bribery. It will take a lot of time. To combat effectively corruption you need laws in place, you have to enact laws, and you have to enforce the legislation.” It’s a bit too soon to assess political willingness.”
Companies and investors frequently cite corruption as one of their concerns about doing business in Africa.
“We need to sustain the political will,” Moulette said.
“This kind of international agreement or discipline has no effect if there is no political will behind it.”
Moulette said there was a risk that austerity measures and cuts to public sector pay to combat the global financial crisis could increase the potential for bribery and corruption worldwide.
“That is definitely a worry, though we have not seen any evidence or cases yet. The global crisis has exacerbated economic conditions. There is some pressure for companies to bribe to get markets and contracts.”