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Here's your cut, boss!

Last Updated: 10/5/2006 5:47:36 PM

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A recent survey has show that some foreign firms are all too willing to give out bribes in African countries in order to do business, something they seem not to be in their home countries. Somehow that does not seem right.....

Bribery and corruption is a big problem in African nations.
Bribery and corruption is a big problem in African nations.

Anti-corruption group Transparency International (TI) recently released its annual Bribe Payers' Index of 30 exporting nations. The list comprises of countries that account for 80% of all world’s export and ranks respondents' experience of which countries' firms are most prepared to pay bribes.

The list is a complement to TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index measuring the apparent readiness of countries' officials to accept bribes. The Bribe Payers’ Index showed that while countries like Sweden, Switzerland and Australia topped the list as being the countries whose firms are least likely to offer a bribe, other nations, like China and India topped the least.

However, countries like France and Italy were also found to be the likely culprits in low-income countries, most especially in Africa. This, as the TI report singled out raised the issue of doubled standards within these nations. While they go out about banging on how African countries need to stamp out corruption, firms from the own countries are all to willing to dish out bribes in order to do business. Yet there are any known cases of the firms being brought to book in their countries.

The Serious Fraud Office in the UK recently announced that it is investigating KBR, a subsidiary of US oil service company, Halliburton for its involvement in an alleged plot to pay out about than $170m (£89m) of bribes to win billions of dollars of work at a giant Nigerian gas plant, which is partly underwritten by the UK government. Wether this would lead to anybody being persecuted, is yet to be seen.

It is clear that corruption is a problem in low income countries but it seems that foreign firms are willing to give out bribes in African countries, safe in the knowledge that it would hardly lead to anyone being persecuted in their own country. ClickAfrique would like to know what people think about the whole picture? Should Western nations be doing more to monitor the activities of their firms around or they willing to let them run loose, after all the more money those firms make, the more it boosts their national economies, irrespective of the negative effect in African nations? It’s your shout.


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