As suggested by the World Economic Forum, the United States of America is almost very clean in regards to corruption. According to Transparency International, countries with low levels of corruption could still be exporting it overseas.
For example, a Country in Europe might be linked to corruption and bribery case to a partner organisation in, let’s say Africa.
What is corruption in the first place? Corruption can be explained as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. Corruption can be classified in different forms depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs.
We are all aware that corruption is pervasive. It operates at every level and the poor usually carry its greatest burden, but how do we go about shedding light on shady transactions, lousy enforcement of law and other illicit practices that undermine good government, ethical businesses and global societies?
Corruption disorganises the fabric of society. It undermines people’s trust in political and economic systems, institutions and leaders. It can cost people their freedom, health, money and sometimes their lives. “Corruption, embezzlement, fraud, these are all characteristics which exist everywhere. It is regrettably the way human nature functions, whether we like it or not.
What successful economies do is keep it to a minimum. No one has ever eliminated any of that stuff.” Alan Greenspan
Are nations in Africa such as Nigeria as corrupt as they say? What makes the western world appear so clean in relation to corruption?
The cost of corruption carries a political, economical, social and environmental impact on nations. Using the World Economic Forum’s findings, the most corrupt nations have a particular pattern of conflict, inequality & poverty, and such happens mainly in less developed nations.
“We’ve seen over time that countries that have the best economic growth are those that have good governance, and good governance comes from freedom of communication. It comes from ending corruption. It comes from a populace that can go online and say, ‘This politician is corrupt, this administrator, or this public official is corrupt.” Ramez Naam.
Corrupt acts can be committed at high levels of government enabling leaders to benefit at the expense of the public good. Low and medium level private and public officials in their interactions with clients or ordinary citizens can also show acts of corruption.
In a democratic system, offices and institutions lose their integrity and legitimacy when they are misused for private advantage. Economically, corruption is the number one means to exhaust national wealth; it also hinders the development of fair market structures and distorts competition, which in turn destabilises investment. The lack of environmental regulations and legislation means that all the precious natural resources of any given nation are carelessly exploited.
Does manipulation of policies, institutions and rules of business engagement only happen in certain areas of the globe while others remain clean, how do you determine the global leaders of corruption?