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A Leading Expert Discusses Ways to Combat Corruption in Several Countries

Daniel Kaufman, director of Global Programs at the World Bank Institute recently joined host Carol Castiel of the program Press Conference USA, VOA economics reporter Barry Wood, and Shegoftah Nasreen Queen of VOA’s Bangla Service to discuss approaches that help countries combat corruption and bolster good governance on.

The anti-corruption watchdog group, Transparency International, found this year that corruption persists in 60 of the 146 countries it surveyed.

Corruption is most acute in Bangladesh, Haiti, Nigeria, Chad, Burma, Azerbaijan, and Paraguay. And, according to Transparency International, levels are often especially high in oil-rich countries.

Carol Castiel asks Daniel Kaufman why some of the oil-rich countries in Africa, such as Nigeria and Angola, that should be rich are very poor or their wealth is poorly distributed. Mr. Kaufman says the World Bank Institute believes that – to address corruption – a country must have a good governance policy. And furthermore, he says, the rule of law, democratic accountability, a good regulatory framework, and government effectiveness are essential components in combating corruption. But, he stresses, there is nothing culturally or historically determined about which countries with abundant natural resources are the most corrupt.

For example, in Latin America, there are neighboring countries with the same history, cultural and geographical similarities that have chosen quite different directions. He says his native Chile, which is rich in copper, has used its mineral wealth very judiciously. And, Mr. Kaufman adds, neighbors such as Ukraine and Poland and North and South Korea have had quite different experiences in combating corruption. What matters most, he stresses, is having good transparency strategies and good governance.

For full audio of the program click here