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Corruption in developing African countries benefit from foreign investments

In our previous blogs, we have discussed at length about the re-emerging life presidency in Africa and how much this syndrome would cost democracy in the young African states. From the time most of the African states emerged from colonial powers, and immediately plunged into civil wars and dictatorships, “democracy, constitutionalism, human rights and the rule of law” have been embraced as the key principles for stability and prosperity for the emerging nations. There is now a showdown as most of them are turning to embrace life presidency. Many leaders are developing renewed appetite for much power as they can do whatever within their power to declare themselves life presidents. The question that follows is, WHY is this shrewdness now? What life presidents do is to monopolize economic and military powers. With such power they can easily persuade politicians to circumvent the law in their own favour. With wealth it is easy to compromise political minds and get away with crimes. It is a sad precident that may lead eventually to Coup d’E’ta’ and threaten the hard won democracy in the long-run.
All this unfortunate situation seems to come from the quick flowing of foreign investments into the “African States”. In the 21st Century lots of wealth in Africa come from Asiatic and Western regions whose aim is to invest their wealth in Africa. The revenues raised from this investment does not come from internal hard work and labour of the citizens. African leadership has learned how to be creative and persuasive. Some leaders can even threaten the West in order to squeeze wealth from them. This is what I call an easy wealth that attracts more corruption and thurst for power. It is in this sense that one can safely argue that illegitimate international influence is part of the problem rather than solution for Africa. Some sitting presidents make people believe that whatever comes in such as buildings or other forms of infrastructures are all from their own merits and hard struggle to build the nation, while they are unaccountable to the victimized citizens. It is worrying how such poured in wealth is giving false image of developing nations while many African people are languishing in poverty and ill-being.
Easy wealth flowing from oil and gas is the undoing of the African democracy and recipe to conflicts in Africa today. South Sudan is a typical example where oil money has brought untold drammatic humanitarian disasters to the local populations. It is easy wealth that ends up in the hands of corrupt, lazy, but connected persons who cleverly turn it to be their own wealth. It is in South Sudan that people die of hunger, ignorance and diseases, despite their vast land rich in agricultural resources. Lazy and corrupt wealthy individuals get all from oil and gas and forget that their people need food to feed on. This is a new form of slavery that Africa is experiencing with foreign investments.
Hard earned money, such as developing agriculture will always make people more accountable and sensitive to any eventuality that may jeopardize their own security. Foreign investments are part of the problem Africa is facing today and we must admit that, until Africans will learn how to work hard and be self-reliant, things may not be any better with greedy leaders. “Smart power” is better than “hard power” or “soft power” in this case of Africa. Europe developed from its hard work (hard power) in the industries before working on services and products (soft power). African states never worked on raw materials as Europe and China did but have entered the euphoria of the post-modern time in which international supplies are greater than local supplies. This is a tragedy of the commons that Africa must cope with.
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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!


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