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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs