Possible Approaches to Deal with Bribery in Africa

Various approaches could help alleviate cases of bribery that lead to adverse economic outcomes for a country. Among these, legislation and technological tools present formidable candidates to address the challenge. With respect to legislation, transnational laws could deter investors from engaging in bribery (Schroth and Sharma 296). The level of adoption and implementation of laws dealing with corruption in Africa is however limited especially as it concerns foreign bribery (Schroth and Sharma 297).

Secondly, Technological advancements offer a way through which bribery may be curtailed in Africa (Schroth and Sharma 298). The role of technology would be with respect to communication. Through mobile phones and the Internet, ideas and stories of individuals engaged in bribery can spread faster thus attracting negative publicity to their businesses (Schroth and Sharma 298). Technology also enables cultural learning thus helping alleviate the culture-informed acceptance of bribery.


Corruption impedes business processes and bears various negative consequences to the population. Bribery, for instance, increases cost of doing business and impedes competition since it confers unfair benefits to the parties’ offering bribes.  Despite such costs, entities engaging in bribery have argued the need to engage in such practices due to existence of cultural differences may lead to some activities regarded to be unethical in some cultures being perceived as ethical in other cultures.  Such differences in the perception of ethical nature of corruption in different countries thus informed this paper’s aim to access the ethical aspects of bribery in Africa.

The high cases of bribery in Africa may be portrayed by adverse rankings of its constituent countries in reports examining perceived corruption levels. The continent for instance contributes a high proportion to those countries perceived to be the most corrupt in the Transparency International’s corruption perception index. With its weak legal and institutional framework to address bribery cases, bribery presents a core challenge to the continents economic growth. Communicating the impact of such a challenge, is aggravated by the diverse and opposing perspectives on the ethical nature of bribery.

Ethical nature of bribery could be perceived in four ways. On the moral perspective, bribery is a moral evil since it deviates from the moral code. Despite this perception, in countries where bribery has become institutionalized thus accepted as a way of life by the masses, its perception as a moral wrong is curtailed. Secondly, bribery unethical nature may be demonstrated by the adverse economic and political outcomes it bears to a country.  When bribery is a means to by-pass unnecessary bureaucratic processes, it could however serve as a source of efficiency. Similarly, bribery to low-ranking officers could supplement their income thus encourage their expenditure which in turn enhances economic activity. The most likely scenario however is for high-ranking officers to attract businesses willing to bribe due to their high-level access to decision-making processes. Where such is the case, the economy hardly benefits since such officers would take precautions in their expenditure to lower the risk of detection.

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