African Anti-Corruption Agencies: Challenges and Prospects

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Public Administration and Local Government, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

2 Department of Public Administration, Federal Polytechnic Oko, Nigeria

3 Department of Accountancy, Federal Polythenic Oko, Nigeria


Corruption has become an issue of major political and economic relevance in recent years. This has led to a resurgence of interest in analyzing the phenomenon and the diverse forms that it assumes in developing politics with an expectation that democratization and economic liberation offer potential routes to dealing with the problem. Anti-corruption strategies range from institutional reforms through concerted efforts at the international, populist and local levels, but the efficiency of these approaches has not been subject to careful empirical research. This study examines these issues with reference to the politics and practicalities of anti-corruption strategies in several African societies. It is posited that although right sizing the state and political liberalization are desirable goals in many African states, they are necessary rather than sufficient conditions for the reduction of corruption. Extensive public and private sector corruption can coexist with democratic politics. Economic liberalization can also create avenues for corruption, through the sale of parastatals in dubious circumstances. For anti-corruption strategies to be effective in the continent, more attention needs to be devoted to questions of sequencing, the details of reform and its sustainability in very poor polities, political will and commitment.