News / Africa

New Study Says Attitudes May Be Key to Tackling Graft in Guinea

Guinea, AfricaGuinea, Africa
x
Guinea, Africa
Guinea, Africa
Nancy Palus
As Guinea struggles to put decades of autocratic rule and mismanagement firmly in the past, corruption - at all levels of society - remains a serious drag on development in the mineral-rich country. 

But a new study by local anti-corruption groups and the Open Society Institute for West Africa looks to get at Guineans' attitudes about corruption, an important step, Guinean activists say, in tackling the phenomenon.
 
Ask just about any Guinean and they’ll say corruption is part of nearly every transaction of daily life. But the new study shows that most Guineans don’t necessarily see the link between corruption and the socio-economic woes they cite as most pressing, like unemployment or poor access to electricity and safe water.
 
Governance and anti-corruption activists say understanding this gap and better educating citizens will be critical in fighting corruption.
 
Researchers asked people in 980 households in urban areas across Guinea what they saw as the most serious socio-economic problems.  Most people cited unemployment, a high cost of living, and lack of access to water and electricity.
 
While Guinea has abundant mineral resources and huge agricultural potential, infrastructure is poor and most families in the capital, Conakry, struggle to eat two solid meals a day.  But while people surveyed said corruption is rampant in Guinea, their responses indicated they did not see it as a barrier to development -- in other words, they did not necessarily link corruption to their difficult living conditions.
 
Mathias Hounkpe is with Guinea’s office of the Open Society Institute for West Africa, which funded the study.

He says that while nearly all of those surveyed said corruption exists, they don’t see corruption as partially to blame for high unemployment and lack of access to basics like water and electricity.
 
He says the results of the study show that going forward, it will be important for Guinean civil society groups to work on educating the public about the link between corruption and underdevelopment.  Hounkpe says once citizens have a better understanding of this link, they will be more inclined to demand accountability from elected leaders.
 
In the latest index by the corruption watchdog group Transparency International, Guinea scored slightly better than last year.  Guineans and experts say since a civilian government came to power in 2010 there have been important fiscal reforms, but much work lies ahead and corruption must be reined in.
 
Mohamed François Falcone is director of Guinea’s Agency for the Fight Against Corruption and Promotion of Good Governance, which conducted the study.   
 
He says the results of the study will contribute to Guinea’s efforts to reduce poverty.  He says reducing corruption not only encourages investment, but also improves the functioning of local and national institutions, thereby improving living conditions of the poorest in society.
 
Falcone said his organization plans to use the results of the study as a baseline and measure corruption and governance on a yearly basis.
 
Kabiné Komara, a former prime minister of Guinea and once head of the African Export-Import Bank, says that in Guinea, as in most underdeveloped countries, corruption holds back development in two ways - not only by its direct financial impact, but in that it saps the morale of citizens, the very people who must be standing up for good governance.

You May Like

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by a joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop billions of dollars from illegally being moved out of continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid