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Akinwumi Adesina: Corruption is everywhere, it’s not an African problem

Akinwumi Adesina: Corruption is everywhere, it’s not an African problem
October 14
15:19 2023

Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says corruption is not embedded in Africa but the continent needs transparency in governance.

Adesina, who spoke on Friday in an interview with the UK Guardian, said the continent needs to continue to improve accountability in the use of public resources.

He said some of the world’s well-known corruption cases happened in Europe, adding that in places like Eritrea in East Africa, there is zero percent corruption.

“The global financial crisis that brought the world down in 2008, was not in Africa. We have no Wall Street. That collapse came from greed, from corruption, from fraud,” he said.

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“You have people cooking the books that are in the financial industry in Europe, not in Africa. Corruption is not an African issue.

“The issue is, that is not to say that there’s none. What you have to do is to continue to improve transparency, accountability in the use of public resources.

“During my first visit to Eritrea, I was talking to UN Development Programme staff. You know what they told me? That, in Eritrea, corruption is zero percent.

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“Why do we not talk about that? That’s the kind of thing that we want to do. For us as a development bank, we take good governance very seriously.”

Adesina said governments must be accountable to their people on how resources are acquired and used because “people’s resources do not belong in other people’s pockets”.

He said the development bank ensures that when countries take monies from them, they support the countries to account for the resources.

He blamed multinational companies for encouraging illicit capital flows in Africa, adding that there is a need to beam a searchlight in that direction.

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Speaking on Africa’s position on the global value chain, Adesina said the fastest way to end poverty is through the exportation of raw materials.

He said for Africa to move up the value chain, it has to place value on its raw materials including oil and gas, minerals, metals and food.

“The issue is, we have to invest right; we have to make sure the governance environment is right; we have to make sure the incentives are right,” he said.

“Africa must take a position that it is no longer going to be at the bottom but at the top.”

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