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Akinwumi Adesina: Corruption Is Global, Not Peculiar To Africa

President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said corruption is not an African problem, but a crisis ravaging the globe including…

President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has said corruption is not an African problem, but a crisis ravaging the globe including Europe.

He noted that while corruption in high in the financial and economic sectors in Europe, places like Eritrea in East Africa has zero per cent corruption.

Adesina, who made this known in an interview with the UK Guardian, however, said the African continent needs to continue to improve accountability in the use of public resources.

“The global financial crisis that brought the world down in 2008, was not in Africa. We have no Wall Street. That collapse came from greed, from corruption, from fraud,” he said.

“You have people cooking the books that are in the financial industry in Europe, not in Africa. Corruption is not an African issue.

“The issue is, that is not to say that there’s none. What you have to do is to continue to improve transparency, and accountability in the use of public resources.

“During my first visit to Eritrea, I was talking to UN Development Programme staff. You know what they told me? That, in Eritrea, corruption is zero percent.

“Why do we not talk about that? That’s the kind of thing that we want to do. For us as a development bank, we take good governance very seriously.”

Adesina admonished governments to be accountable to their people in the acquisition and utilisation stressing that “people’s resources do not belong in other people’s pockets”.

He said the development bank he controls ensures that when countries take funds from them, they support such countries to account for the resources.

He blamed multinational companies for backing illegal capital flows in Africa, adding that there is a need to beam a searchlight in that direction.

The AfDB chief spoke on Africa’s position on the global value chain, as he emphasised that the fastest means to crush poverty is through the exportation of raw materials.

He said for Africa to move up the value chain, it has to place value on its raw materials including oil and gas, minerals, metals and food.

“The issue is, we have to invest right; we have to make sure the governance environment is right; we have to make sure the incentives are right,” he said.

He added, “Africa must take a position that it is no longer going to be at the bottom but at the top.”

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