Corruption And The Moral Decline Of Leaders

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Corruption is a term used by researchers in various ways. It is considered as an international sensation because it has been practiced over time in all communities around the world. Vorster (2012) explains that corruption is the misuse of public office or a position of authority for private, material or social gain at the expense of other people.

This type of damage is susceptible to various perspectives and approaches. Corruption is the root cause of most political and economic problems in society, especially in Africa. Some poor characteristics of corruption are considered enemies of economic development. Therefore, a country that tolerates corruption is evidently overcome with numerous social, political and economic vices. Corruption is an act that differs from the official rules of conduct governing the actions of those who exercise public or private power. Thus, such a person ends up abusing wealth, power or status. In other words, corruption is a falsification of fact or truth through moral corruption or virtue whereby integrity becomes questionable. This usually happens when two or more parties interact to change the social structure or behavior of officials and create a polluted and biased situation.

Furthermore, it is a systematic crime of a state, society or person and it receives divinity, tribal affiliation, inadequate abundance, favouritism, abuse of power, accumulation of wealth, and becomes sources of benefits and undue gains. Corruption is a concept with broad understanding of elements that entail things such as money laundering, fraud, illegal payments, false declaration, forgery and bribery.

As stated earlier, corruption can be seen anywhere in the world, and it becomes the norm if it is a way of behaviour tolerated or if the chance of being caught and exposed to punishment are minimal. It is clear that corruption has become a social issue in Africa that is hampering the fight against poverty, change and economic growth. Corruption is widespread in almost all African countries as disregard for authority is common. In a recently article in The Citizen newspaper, it was revealed that South Africa has been reeling over claims that some officials, including ministers and a former president, have been involved in corruption. Many have been putting pressure on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to act as there have been no major arrests. Corruption in these countries is mainly determined by leaders who personalize their strengths. Corruption is so prominent in Africa that millennials see it as an unavoidable side of life. Government institutions lose their credibility and legitimacy, the legal system becomes ineffective, and over time, the public becomes unsound which worsens the situation. This situation leads to administrative and informal economic activities and thus there is a large gap between the population and the government. In short, corruption is the conscious and deliberate transfer of resources to satisfy the general interest to that of personal interests. The effects of corruption are mainly determined by morals, which impacts negatively.

The leaders who liberated the African continent were unselfish, nationalist and idealistic. These exemplary leaders represent the interests of the country in dutiful considerations. Kwame Nkrumah, Mvalimu Julius Kabaraj Nierre, Patrice Lumumba and Gamal Abdul Nasser are some of the leaders, post-colonial rule, who have expressed an extraordinary sense of nationalism and loyalty through their leadership. These leaders have a keen interest in the accumulation of material wealth. Nelson Mandela is another personality who belongs to the post-colonial leadership category but he represented the continent’s moral conscience.

The appearance of leaders from the Nkrumah caliber saw a decline in African leadership. This led to the emergence of a generation of leaders consisting mainly of military leaders with no or little vision. These leaders are terrorizing, inhumane and impoverishing their people and looting their cash. These rulers had no interest in food production, human capabilities, or even homeless shelters, instead investing in military equipment and luxurious lifestyles that were not so important for economic growth. The new generation of leaders has largely led to ethnic and religious divisions in illiterate populations. Additionally, this guide addresses the looting of human resources and the minimization of education, which are important elements for the growth and development of continents.

It can be understood that this leadership has brought a cycle of military collapse which ended in violence. However, Africa has only recently risen and begun a new path of leadership and governance that is committed to peace, democracy and development.

Researchers can use data on Africa’s leadership and corruption to create a more hopeful future for Africa. It is vital to have knowledge on the history of this distressed continent. Since the 1960s, the African economy has developed rapidly. Africa has strong economic, infrastructure, educational and medical standards throughout the continent. Africans have renewed hope. Unfortunately, optimism ends when the continent experiences an external shock. This included rising oil prices, which led to terrible trade shocks. As a result, many countries borrowed funds to balance the decline in income. Statistical models and the global economy forced the African government to distance the private sector and strengthen market economies at all levels through nationalization and government policies.

Furthermore, the country is under great pressure to play an expanded role. The constant conflict, turmoil and alienation of the state from citizenship saw in the overthrow of power the growth of institutions and formal corruption. In the 1980s, the African economy suffered from recession, stagnation and recession. In debates that followed later, many regarded that period as the lost decade.

During this lost decade, people looked at African problems differently and tried to find solutions. There are those who believe that the neglect of Africa is caused by the hostile environment of the global economy and the deterioration of the terms of trade. This lead to a policy of the complete exclusion of Africa from the global economy.

Opposing parties argue that external factors intensify the difficulties of the continent, but the main problem in Africa is significant. They also argue that Africa lives beyond its means and suffers the most from poor politics, poor domestic leadership and a lack of participation in national or regional development programs. Since then, outsiders have played an excessive role in implementing restructuring programs aimed at reducing costs to achieve macroeconomic stability. Economic and market forces were also acquired.

Corruption, the product of poor leadership, has been a problem in Africa since the colonial era. This is due to corrupt leaders and a lack of resources, hampering the development necessary for policy change, and obstructing economic development. These leaders defend the interests of the African state because it represents a country in a world whose development depends on fallen practice. Despite numerous reforms aimed at improving the situation in Africa, existing corruption restrictions do not allow recording results.

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There is no doubt that corruption has laid the foundation for Africa, and the pace of its spread is astounding. Such behaviour is characteristic of the African leadership, in violation of public debt or deviations from high moral standards to anticipate or replace a person’s financial interests. The influence of corruption is felt politically, economically and socially. But corruption is more visible in terms of economic distortions, inefficiencies and indirect costs due to losses from corrupt practices, which makes it difficult to overcome the problem. It should be noted that the direct costs of corruption are high, as funds are converted to destinations and revenue is lost.

Government revenue is constrained by poor governance and corruption. Poor leadership strategies and massive corruption incidents increase business costs and waste resources. Against this background, investors are reluctant to do business in their respective countries, despite the loss of income. The population of this country is also losing employment opportunities.

Additionally, the real impact of corruption worsens poverty in the country. Studies show that the social and economic costs of corruption encourage not only the poor, but also those who are unable to resist the demands of corrupt government officials for access to effective public services. There is evidence that not only Africans live below the poverty line, but income inequality also causes a huge gap between the average African and African elites. In many African countries, the elite controls the collapsing state machinery and economy, protecting political and economic privileges. Such an environment does not open up opportunities for the population, since there are few strong people to support it.

Africa lags behind other development indicators. Africa has little to offer as the world globalizes economic integration and promotes growth. When analyzing the impact of corruption due to ineffective leadership in Africa, there are three main perspectives: economic, political, and social culture. Political corruption can lead to political instability, law enforcement and civil service inefficiencies. Corruption is undoubtedly the enemy of economic development in the African and international arenas. Corruption paints a bad picture of the African continent in the business world.

If state and government directors misrepresent public resources and destroy facilities to make room for unnecessary alternatives, the economy will deteriorate and will eventually be used for personal use. Investors will be confused, so transactions and deals cannot be made in this region of the world. The impact of this phenomenon leads to unemployment, rising inflation, lower production and lower living standards. The socio-cultural context is strongly affected as it impacts social life and corrupt values. The decline of social values and the decline of progressive societies are nothing more than a desire for power, public awareness and prosperity. As corruption becomes more prevalent in African societies, people no longer value virtues such as behaviour, morality, and practice. At worst, the prospects for corruption will continue and keep hampering the desired development and change.

Other factors have been developed to explain the spread of corruption in Africa. This included personalization of the civilian population, poverty and the inability of state and government officials to free themselves from colonialism in the performance of public servants.

African leaders must take action against corruption. They need to develop country-specific strategies that make corruption dangerous and low-income practices. It cannot be denied that there is no anti-corruption strategy in these countries. Most countries has a corruption prevention system. However, it is necessary to restore the legitimacy of the government and restore the system, thereby abolishing corrupt practices.

Overcoming corruption is hard work but can be achieved. The secret to the success of developed countries is to institutionalize and uphold the rule of law. However, widespread corruption has affected Africa, since it has not yet begun a serious anti-corruption process.

Given the scale of corruption, African countries must constantly develop new strategies to overcome the problem of corruption. The fight against corruption or its prevention requires a consistent, long-term perspective and a broad approach. The main weapons of the anti-corruption campaign are political will, leadership and public support. The political leadership should set an example in the fight against corruption, introducing sophisticated measures in order to send serious messages to the public that corruption is unacceptable.

There are laws that prevent corrupt practices and harsh penalties for corrupt individuals, but African countries continue to fight corruption. This is due to unity, a scenario in which celebrities are exempted from punishment. Such sanctions should be reduced everywhere and include mandatory layoffs, lawsuits, confiscation of assets, and blocked lists. Political will in this matter is necessary because it provides for administrative management and anti-corruption laws. The government monitoring the implementation of these measures should increase public confidence by showing seriousness and commitment to results.

It is difficult to eradicate corruption individually, as it affects society at large. In general, civil society, including the private and public sectors, should be involved in the fight against corruption. The community must also change its attitude towards corruption. This can be considered a slow process, but it creates a regulatory environment in which corruption is unacceptable. The public should be aware of the negative effects of corruption and will reduce corruption. All stakeholders should be involved in the development of anti-corruption strategies. Political will, on the other hand, should strengthen governance in the fight against corruption. In an article published by UNISA in 2018, Trevor Manuel stated that in order to prevent the recurrence of the corruption we have experienced, our vigilance over the next period must invite more whistle-blowing, more exposures, more investigations and charges. Manuel also encouraged more convictions and sentences for corruption.

There is no better way to draw conclusions than to borrow them from Liberia. The country has been in dispute for over 10 years and divided people. Countries affected by the conflict are characterized by ethnic and religious instability and are becoming more apparent. However, it takes less time to reduce administration time. The same applies to Rwanda Paul Kagame. This dedicated leader communicates, processes and balances these differences. In addition, striving for balanced growth and development, we formulate and articulate our vision based on equal opportunities, justice and choice.

Liberia is an example that teaches other African countries the importance of leadership, which should inspire and motivate stakeholders to participate in programs and policies that determine the realization of a national vision. The Government of Liberia wants to set an example to achieve its goals. Not all African countries need to hesitate to follow in the footsteps of countries such as Liberia and Rwanda.

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