7. Elimination of corruption and misuse of power
Africa, being a continent that is never in shortage of problems, has also the problem of corruption—particularly bribery and misuse of office to serve personal interests. Corruption is, indeed, a problem that ranks with the problems of structural distortions that we have been talking about.
We have just referred to the way in which corruption can neutralise any disease—elimination programmes as the medical staff invariably ensure that government drugs are diverted for private sale. Consequently the patients get underdoses which render some of the microbes resistant to those drugs and create many chronic cases.
In development planning or trade, a cheaper option can be ignored in preference to a less efficient one, because the officials concerned see a chance of making a 10% illegal commission by adopting the less useful options. These types of decisions can cause distortions of great magnitude. Therefore, to enable the tackling of our, backwardness, corruption must be eliminated once and for all.