Africans Are Rather Tired of Paying Bribes

Surveys by Transparency International, the leading global anti-corruption group, show that Africa is the continent most consistently plagued by official corruption and bribe-seeking. The latest figures show the fight against corruption there is proceeding rather slowly.

In a global survey this summer, TI found that residents of Liberia and Sierra Leone reported the highest rates of bribe-paying in the whole world. Now, a new survey from Afrobarometer covering 34 African nations finds that almost 1 in 3 Africans say they've paid some sort of bribe recently (with the highest rates being reported in Sierra Leone, Morocco, Guinea, Kenya and Egypt), and the majority of citizens say their governments have done a bad job fighting corruption. Among the findings:

Police attract the highest ratings of corruption across the 34 countries, with 43% of people saying that "most" or "all" of them are involved in corruption. Negative perceptions are highest in Nigeria (78%), Kenya (69%) and Sierra Leone (69%) [...]

The poor pay bribes more often than do better off citizens. Almost one in five people (18%) who had gone without enough food to eat one or more times in the past year had paid a bribe to a government official in the past year to obtain medical treatment, compared with just 12% among those who never went without food. Similarly, the poor were more likely to have paid a bribe for a school placement by 13% to 7%.

Politicians in these corrupt nations should follow America's example: codify the corrupt practices in laws, so that the citizens stop complaining.

[Photo: AP]