Anti Corruption Measures Needed In Ethiopia – A Top Down Approach

No Corruption

No Corruption (Photo credit: Ann Douglas)

By Cam Read, Jan.22, 2013

Much has been said regarding the subject of late, and I’m not sure what I can add to the discussion, but there is an aspect to the resolution I  feel is worthy of mention, that being recognition all the best intentions and policy to eliminate corruption will ultimately fail if enforcement and exemplary conduct isn’t practiced at the highest levels.

While Ethiopia‘s economic and social progress has been remarkable and promises much more, all the hard work and potential can be lost if corruption is not eliminated from the system, and without delay, before it grows roots and becomes more entrenched.  As commendable the gesture and facility the government’s anti corruption commission is, the real work must now be seen to be done to serve as a deterrent in forging a lasting and tangible difference in perceptions, realizations and subsequent domestic and foreign investment. Also, a government seen above reproach is the only one who can expect the fullest possible cooperation of it’s corporate and civil citizenry.

The country risk factor Ethiopia continues to suffer by is being reversed, but it’s Transparency rankings are still very poor, and much more needs to be done. Potential investors must be sure the laws and judiciary are prepared and capable of ensuring their money is safe and that, in the process of doing business, they are not harassed or cajoled into stuffing officials’ pockets at any stage of their dealings and/or department and/or level of federal, regional, or municipal level of governance.

The appropriate actions, I submit, to rid the bureaucracies of this disease of personal greed and corruption are most effective only if administered in a top down manner. The ethical example begins with Hailemariam Desalegn and flows from there because, as with all hierarchal structures, those from below cannot effect lasting procedural change without the empowerment or incentive to do so. Talk alone is useless without guidelines, strict enforcement and criminal prosecution to serve as precedent, and whistleblower protection and reward to encourage ethical conduct from all subordinates.

African Union member states by corruption index

African Union member states by corruption index (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There will be plenty enough for all as Ethiopia’s economy and society continues to develop and flourish. The danger presents itself in those traitors in a position to cheat the rest with impunity not being subject to controls and balances that ensure good governance. Democracy requires great vigilance, but the rewards are worth it. To let those who might the chance to cut the flowers before they bloom and seed would be a disservice to future generations who may rightly ask: ” Where was the courage and wisdom of their forebears when tested and the moment was upon them?”

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