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Public Policy vs. Social Norms and Corruption Essay

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Updated: Nov 26th, 2019

Inefficient Public Policy in Sub-Sahara Africa

An efficient public policy in Sub-Saharan Africa stands as an elusive solution to mismanagement of resources amid chronic poverty. In an age when the rise of Africa to the middle-income status looks imminent, authorities must invest efforts to provide solutions in public policy.

Corruption that stifles development and the culture of impunity thriving across Sub-Saharan Africa must subside if the gains of imminent rise will suffice. Authorities must make efforts in curbing corruption and supporting reforms in social norms by providing necessary facilitation. In this regard, prominent anticorruption steps suitable for prescription, strengthening institutions, civil service, and economic reforms must appear in the public sector.

Strengthening Public Institutions

Public institutions suffer the blunt of corruption and impunity from an inefficient public service system. Therefore, weaker regulations must pave the way to vibrant systems that add value to the economies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Political processes enshrined in democratic values of integrity and accountability must continue to shape the institutional framework in the region. Instability in political transition across many jurisdictions in the region poses inherent weakness in public institutions due to the vacuum in political goodwill (Okogbule 92). The author proposes effective civilian administration with strong democratic systems such as legislation for laws curbing corruption.

Civil Service Reform

Corruption thrives in the absence of checks and balances occasioned by a vibrant civil society, making civil services a necessity in Sub-Saharan Africa. Democratic space witnessed in the west supports the civil service activities that facilitate constant checks in the public sector. Cases of corruption subside in an environment with a vibrant civil service, which must guide reforms needed in Sub-Saharan Africa (Fearon 114).

Unionism and activism for various reform issues, especially with regard to integrity and accountability will prove influential in introducing reforms. Gains achieved among emerging democracies in Sub-Saharan Africa such as Kenya and Ghana rest in the hands of civilian watch. Therefore, involvement of civilians in transformation of the society will continue to provide desired social changes devoid of corrupt tendencies (Otusanya 176).

Economic Reforms

Economic processes in Sub-Saharan Africa require transformations to correspond with the rest of the global economy. In view of the needed economic reforms, bottlenecks in economies must not stand in the way of elimination of corruption opportunities. Bureaucracies provide bottlenecks in the smooth running of economic policies, which creates leakages of national resources into pockets of a few individuals.

Trade tariffs, on the other hand, restrict free trade among Sub-Saharan Africa nations, opening routes for lucrative contraband dealings among corrupt officials. Unified markets and fewer restrictions in the region continue to evade realization of open business opportunities for African nations. Corrupt trade officials taking charge of inefficient systems pose an enormous challenge in the introduction of credible practices to benefit the entire region.

In the case of Sierra Leone, one of the strongest challenge facing social change and accountability perhaps, relates to the lack of strong institutions. The lack of strong anti-corruption institutions conspicuously manifests in the lack of support from enforcement environment in different corruption loopholes. As studies conducted by Rodgers (268) indicate, illegal mining and dealing in gold occasioned the gruesome rebel war in Sierra Leone.

In view of the inefficiencies witnessed in the illegal diamonds trade, prescription for sufficient remedy comes from the presence of institutional oversight. Political and civil institutions in Sierra Leone could stop the escalation of illegal trade to a full-blown rebel war. The choice of this prescription supports the premise that strong institutional background will stop illegal trade processes at some stage and eliminate corruption.

Works Cited

Fearon, D. James. “International Financial Institutions and Economic Policy Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Journal of Modern African Studies 26. 1(1988): 113-137. Print

Okogbule, S. Nlerum. “An Appraisal of the Legal and Institutional Framework for Combating Corruption in Nigeria.” Journal of Financial Crime 13.1(2006): 92-106. Print

Otusanya, J. Olatunde. “An Investigation of the Financial Criminal Practices of the Elite in Developing Countries: Evidence from Nigeria.” Journal of Financial Crime 19.2(2012): 175-206. Print

Rodgers, J. Elizabeth. “Conflict Diamonds: Certification and Corruption: A Case Study of Sierra Leone.” Journal of Financial Crime 13.3(2006): 267-276. Print

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