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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs