Corruption In Ghana – It Is Not Going Away Anytime Soon!

map of Ghana

The yet to be released Global Corruption Barometer for 2013 suggests that in Ghana, 54% of the 2000 respondents reported that corruption has increased in the past two years while only 20% reported that corruption has decreased.

Similarly, 64% of the respondents felt that corruption was a very serious problem while 18% felt it was a serious problem, bringing the total to 82% who felt that corruption is a problem. Only 6% felt corruption was not a problem while 12% were undecided.

The report goes on and on in fancy English a laywoman like me and others may find a bit difficult to understand.  At usual, the police force was the head of the corruption gang and the last group – the NGO’s.

Corruption is a complex social, political, and economic phenomenon. It is widespread in Ghana because conditions are ripe for it.

The motivation in the first instance to earn income is extremely strong and coupled with the wide spread poverty, weak legal systems, the absence of the rule of law, low and declining civil service salaries, sky-high youth unemployment and permanent uncertainty about the future, especially a chaotic democratic future, corruption has all the needed roots to yield in Ghana.

Corruption is the language of Ghana, it is spoken and understood by all and sundry. Corruption starts from the petty perks (police, AMA/KMA market collectors) to the almighty mega back pass (civil servants, political bigwigs and school heads).

Simply put, it is always ‘what’s in it for me’. Offering something to gain an illicit advantage and abusing a position of trust to gain an undue advantage is the way of life in Ghana.

First and foremost, the report itself is/was corrupt because I really don’t think people who are at the giving/receiving end of corruption even participated.

I was expecting 85% of respondents reporting an increase. 15% out of the 100% will be babies and kids who have no money to offer to get through life. The group of people, who struggle under the sun to pay more tax in the name of tolls and market whatever – what is the probability that they were involved in this survey (or whatever was done to access those figures)?

Check out these scenarios:

There’re some individuals in higher positions in Ghana, believe it or not, have nothing in their coconut heads. To construct a simple sentence is even a struggle. Do you know why?

When he/she started in life, the only way he climbed on the education ladder in good quality school was through bribery. From basic school through to university or otherwise was achieved through bribery – his/her parents had the money to bribe that headmaster/headmistress through to higher education. Why bother to learn if daddy can see me through education without good grades?

Mind you daddy is also busily collecting the mega bucks in his office, not in salary, but …The child learns that the only way of getting through life is dishing out money and abusing positions of trust to gain an undue advantage.

What is the probability that when he/she is an adult, he/she will encourage her children to study their way through education? The end result, occupying a position he has no clue about because as usual, daddy got him a job through the usual route. The country is at a loss.

Here is another individual you chartered his taxi, through communication, you realise he’s very intelligent, what happened? His papa and mama did not have the bucks to give to the school head (with the very good grades he achieved) to land him a place in the ‘good recognised schools’. He had to settle for the schools for his calibre.

After school, who does he know in higher places to offer him a job? Meanwhile, the little money his mama and papa make through their trades is collected through tax and they don’t even know what that tax is used for.

Man must eat so out of frustration, he decides to be his own boss by driving a taxi. The policeman is also taking his pound of flesh from him. The country is then at a very big loss because the best consultant who can say just a word to solve the water or energy crisis is languishing on the street with his knowledge and wisdom.

When considering corruption within the context of politics and politicians, it is fully embedded in the governance and leadership structure of the country – without any particular reference to any past or present political parties, corruption is an operational consensus that keeps the system lubricated and functioning.

The manner in which the state acquires and exercises its authority to provide public goods and services, government policy is simply what a government chooses to do or not do in the provision or non-provision of the said public goods and services.

But what do they do, abuse their position to ‘slowly’ kill off the same people who put them in power.

In good governments with good governance processes, there is usually a clear organizational design and operational efficiency geared toward the delivery of public goods and services for all citizens.

The cycle will then continue through and through until thy kingdom come!

When and where will the chain break? The above is just the tip of the iceberg.

When a language is learned, how hard or difficult is it to unlearn the language?


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