|MAY 2016-YOU CAN FIGHT CORRUPTION NOW|
Africa is a continent of contradictions. While it is clearly developing in leaps and bounds, others factors seem to be working to bring it to its knees. One of these factors is corruption-the worst disease in Africa. Poverty in Africa cannot ever be eradicated if corruption is still an everyday occurrence. In fact, besides poverty, corruption has caused so many ills; from lack of access to education, water, healthcare among other resources, corruption is the root cause of many challenges faced by Africa’s children today. Yet it is unconsciously accepted and tolerated. Eudiah Kamonjo explores ways children can fight corruption now.
90% of countries in Sub-Sahara Africa score below 50 out of 100 points (0 being the most corrupt) in Transparency International’s Corruption Index.
What is corruption?
Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. But there’s more to it than that. According to Robtel N. Pailey author of Gbagba, an anti-corruption book for children, “Corruption is not a timeless tango between the public and private sectors alone. It is also the little acts of trickery we engage in as a means of bypassing systems that we find cumbersome or problematic, no matter our station in life or where we live in the world.”
These ‘little acts of trickery’ include exam cheating in schools. This year, the Education Ministry in Kenya cancelled the 2015 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results of 5,101 students, reporting a 70% rise in the number of exam cheating cases. Due to the increased advancement in technology, reports have also been made whereby students form Wassup groups where they circulate expected exam questions and answers in advance. Even school children copying each other’s homework answers and ‘passing them’ as their own is corruption. These are just a few examples of how the seeds of corruption start to grow.
The leaders of tomorrow
Since the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow, these kinds of vices need to be eliminated if our continent is to grow out of its current quagmire. It is said that strong values are best implanted in the early years of life. This is further reinforced in Proverbs 22: 6 which says, “Train the child the way he should go and he will never depart from it when he grows old.” And this is precisely what Child Africa and BINGWA Magazine does; it turns its readers into champions (Bingwas in Swahili) who fight corruption wherever they are inorder to ensure a corrupt-free tomorrow. We all want to do good and be champions, right?
Many other organisations have recognized the need to nurture children with integrity. Transparency International have, for example, been running integrity clubs in schools to promote good values.
For corruption to end, we must all work together.
Kurt Cobain said ‘the duty of youth is to challenge corruption’. But do we (the children of Africa) know that we can contribute in the fight against this vice? That we can be that ideal generation that will not condone it? Well, it is up to each of us to understand corruption and equip ourselves (and others) for this seemingly arduous task.
Mr. Rino Solberg, who is also the author of ‘Put Integrity First (2007)’, a publication exploring ‘the right way to get success in Africa and fight poverty and corruption in the process’ shares some tips to help children contribute in this fight against corruption wherever they are :-
Please note: Eliminating corruption means that all the children of Africa will have to fight corruption for the rest of their lives in order to leave this continent and the world at large a better corrupt-free place.
These are just a few examples of how you can contribute in fighting corruption, but there are so many more innovative ways you can come up with. Please share these with us or those around you.
DECEMBER 9: International Anti-corruption Day.
First published in BINGWA Magazine Issue 17 Term 2 May 2016