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Role Played by Civil Society in the Fight Against Corruption in East Africa

05/2010;

ABSTRACT Corruption is a big problem in Africa. Reports by World Bank and member states have revealed that colossal sum of money is lost to corruption. This has impeded the achievement of the Millennium development goals and other national development objectives of the respective states. Civil society organizations of national, regional and international character as well as organizations such as International Monetary Fund, African Union, Africa Development Bank and World Bank have raised concern over increased corruption in the region. This is despite the legal and institutional frameworks put in place by the African states as a move against corruption in Africa. The reasons for the increased corruption in Africa can be linked to political, social, economic and legal factors. In this paper, the author analyzes the state of corruption in East Africa and the role played by civil society in the fight against corruption. The present East Africa comprises of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania. In the paper the author reveals that 70% of corruption cases reported in the region are found in the public sector. That multinational corporations in the private sector have also contributed to corruption due to cutthroat competition in the liberalized economy. An examination is given to the legal and institutional frameworks in place to fight against corruption. The frame work in place would have played a greater role in the fight against corruption had it not been for the frustration of their efforts by those who hold power in the respective states. An analysis is made into the constraints to the activism of civil society in the fight against corruption. The author offers an argument that the East African states through their repressive laws and the interest of its leaders to protect and pursue their selfish political interest have largely frustrated the efforts of civil society in the fight against corruption. The author concludes by proposing/ suggesting/ recommending new ways through which the Governments can work alongside the civil society with the view of effectively fighting corruption in the region and Africa as a whole.

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