Experts: corruption is a canker pulling down Africa’s development

Industrial Experts have blamed persistent cases of graft among African countries for slowing down the industrialization process on the continent.

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They made the remarks on Tuesday during the second day of the Global African Investment Summit in Rwandan capital Kigali.

Rwanda hosts the high level investment meeting from 5th to 6th September 2016, aimed at delivering international trade and investment to Africa’s most dynamic region.

Speaking at a session of the summit, Sindiso Ngwenya, Secretary General of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa said that high levels of corruption in public sector hinder several African government’s policies that promote industrialization.

“Industrialization in African countries can be completed very fast; the main challenge is the high rate of corruption. The prevalence of corruption also warps the political process. Africa industrialization has been unsuccessful for the past 40 years and this is the time to reverse the trend, “he said.

Ngwenya called on African governments to uproot corruption in public offices if the continent was to establish a competitive industrial sector and promote greater industrial linkages.

“The Tripartite Free Trade Area has an implementation framework that incorporates small SMEs and the private sector to boost industrialization in Africa. Investors should be encouraged to move into Africa where industrialization is yet to be realized,” Comesa secretary general noted.

Africa is widely considered among the world’s most corrupt places, a factor seen as contributing to the stunted development and impoverishment of many African states, according to Transparency International, a leading global watchdog on corruption.

Experts at the meeting suggested a variety of methods for African governments to battle graft cases, with a special emphasis on transparency and accountability.

“Africa will have to step up investment in industrialization and trade facilitation and as well as stamp out corruption in the public offices to ensure that the continent moves from low-income into middle-income status,” said Francois Kanimba, Rwanda Minister of trade and industry.

He noted that Rwanda has stepped up efforts to fight corruption by emphasizing on a zero-tolerance stance against corruption right from the country’s top leadership.

“Reducing corruption, promoting export growth, human development, technology transfer and foreign direct investment and robust infrastructure will boost Industrialization in Africa,” Kanimba underscored.

According to the African Development Bank, Africa loses 148 billion U.S. dollars annually due to corruption. Endit

Source: Xinhua/News Ghana

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