Corruption is not solely an issue plaguing Africa, but rather a global crisis that affects countries worldwide, including Europe, says the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
Dr Adesina made this remark during an interview with the UK Guardian, highlighting that corruption is prevalent in the financial and economic sectors of Europe, while countries like Eritrea in East Africa have successfully achieved a corruption-free environment.
He stressed the need for the African continent to continue to improve accountability in the use of public resources.
“The global financial crisis that brought the world down in 2008 was not in Africa. We have no Wall Street. That collapse came from greed, from corruption, from fraud,” he said.
“You have people cooking the books that are in the financial industry in Europe, not in Africa. Corruption is not an African issue.
“The issue is, that is not to say that there’s none. What you have to do is to continue to improve transparency and accountability in the use of public resources.
“During my first visit to Eritrea, I was talking to UN Development Programme staff. You know what they told me? That, in Eritrea, corruption is zero per cent.
“Why do we not talk about that? That’s the kind of thing that we want to do. For us as a development bank, we take good governance very seriously,” Adesina said, admonishing governments to be accountable to their people in the acquisition and utilisation, stressing that “people’s resources do not belong in other people’s pockets”.
Adesina stated that the development bank under his jurisdiction guarantees that when nations receive financial assistance, they are also provided with the necessary support to account for the resources.
He attributed the issue of illegal capital flows in Africa to multinational corporations and emphasized the importance of investigating this matter.
The chief of the African Development Bank discussed Africa’s role in the global value chain, highlighting that the most effective way to eradicate poverty is through the exportation of raw materials.
He stated that in order for Africa to progress in the value chain, it must place significance on its raw materials, including oil and gas, minerals, metals, and food.
“The issue is, we have to invest right; we have to make sure the governance environment is right; we have to make sure the incentives are right,” he said.
He added, “Africa must take a position that it is no longer going to be at the bottom but at the top.”
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