Situation of Corruption Worldwide and its Consequences on Development in Africa
Building strong societies requires governments, politics, business, civil societies and the daily lives of people, all of which are free of corruption. Although a lot has been done to eliminate corruption, it remains the challenge which hinders development especially in emerging countries. As one of its contributions to corruption fighting, PIASS organized a public conference on “The Situation of Corruption Worldwide and its Consequences on Development in Africa”
Prof Christoph Stueckelberger addressing the public
This conference, whose participants were mainly authorities involved in fighting corruption, local government officials, and academic communities, took place on May 27, 2014 and was led by Prof Dr Christoph Stueckelberger, the Executive Director and founder of Globethics.net, an international network on ethics based in Geneva, Switzerland, and one of the founders of Transparency International.
After he was welcomed by Prof Dr Benoit Girardin, Vice Chancellor of PIASS, Prof Christoph Stueckelberger started by defining corruption. He stated, “There is no single accepted definition for the term ‘corruption’ because what may seem corrupt in one society may not necessarily be perceived as such in another. But commonly, corruption is the abuse of public or personal power for personal interests.”
To deepen the concept of corruption, Prof Stueckelberger explained the concept in all sectors: education, health, churches, government structures… and explained some forms of corruption. With help of biblical and inter-religious values, he provided answers to what could be named as corruption. A comparison between God’s purposes for humans, as opposed to the impact of corruption contributed to a better understanding of its effects:
- Kills and destroys life - wants life
- Oppresses the rights of the poor - wants justice
- Hinders economic performance - wants honest wealth
- Destroys trust and confidence - wants community
- Destroys integrity and credibility - wants dignity
- Strengthens violence and military forces - wants peace
From this, he shared ten ethical values to overcome corruption: 1)Justice, 2)equality, 3)truth, 4)freedom, 5)performance, 6)efficiency, 7)participation, 8)human rights, 9)grace (respect of the unsalable), 10)common interest higher than self-interest and responsible use of power
He also shared experiences in the process of fighting against corruption and presented the extent of corruption worldwide, especially in Rwanda which has done significant efforts towards fighting corruption
The Questions and Answers (Q&A) session was quite dynamic. It was a great presentation through which participants were equipped with knowledge about the meaning, effects and tools to fight corruption societies, especially in Africa.