Quite simply and in general, corruption is anything negative that dents social welfare. By its destructive nature, it has metaphorically been referred to as ‘cancer, ‘disease’ or ‘virus. Corruption is therefore viewed as a big obstacle to the most fundamental aspects of a socially stable society. These pillars include growth and advancement, success, education, public health and fairness. This vice is mostly associated with leaders in power and public office holders. Corruption elicits a myriad reactions and implications in the society. There is wastage of tax revenue, low standards of life, crime increase and lack of credibility by the public in public institutions.

Corruption is determined by various factors and its effects felt different from one country to another. The most common is bribery where individuals gain favour in allocation of resources and other favours by offering ‘extra’ payments. Favouritism is also a common type of corruption personal affiliations determine whether or not one gets public services and resources. Embezzlement and misappropriation of communal money and other resources is also corruption. Other forms include fraud, extortion, abuse of power and conflict of interest. Money laundering, illegal contribution of funds to persons, identity theft and intimidation complete common acts considered as detrimental to the welfare of the society.

Most of the underdeveloped countries in the world are struggling with abject corruption in their institutions (Karklins, 2005). For example, all the top ranking corrupt nations also fair poorly on economic development and growth. Somalia is one of the most unstable and poor nations due to its status as the most corrupt nation. Basically, Sub-Saharan Africa leads world’s charts of most underdeveloped and corrupt regions. Clearly, development does not thrive under corrupt governments, leadership or public institutions.

Corruption compromises the quality of education. For example, if a parent pays bribe so that their son is admitted into a private school could damage the boy’s education progress and opportunities in the future. When an education officer prevents transfer of teachers to rural areas by receiving bribe, the rural areas are denied of quality teachers. When funds allocated for education purpose, misappropriation or illegal allocation means that the poor unprivileged students do not access these resources. It is easy to forget that the money paid as bribe is quite little compared to the consequences that befall the society.

Analysis of statistics by Anti-corruption Catalyst from 42 states associate bribes with illiteracy of persons between the age of 15 and 24 (Wei, 2008). Additionally, increases in maternal deaths are noted in 64 countries where corruption is rampant. This phenomenon is independent of investment in healthcare and a state’s economic status. On the same breath, access to safe drinking water and household incomes are drastically affected by corruption. These implications of corruption on health, education and provision of basic services are indications of the adverse effects that corruption has on the economic and social welfare of the society.

Broadly, corruption amplifies the costs of services, making them unaffordable to the poor. This is so because the poor overly depend on the state to provide basic needs for them. Deviation of resources and capital from their original purpose also blocks the government from meeting the public’s expectations of provision of services. Corruption also impedes the rule of law creating an enabling environment for the growth of injustice and discrimination. As a result, foreign investors are reluctant to invest n such economies for fear of incurring losses and income to corrupt deals. From an economic point of view, this represents an economic blow.

Corruption hinders poverty eradication in under-developed countries. This stems from reluctance by donors to give loans and grants because transparency, accountability and integrity cannot be guaranteed. When funds channelled to poverty eradication are misappropriated, the journey becomes longer and harder.

The problem of corruption is not without practical solutions. There is a need for all persons in the society to embrace efforts to eradicate this vice. Governments, well wishers, private and public organizations should enforce anti-corruption measures at their developmental planning levels. These anticorruption steps are enshrined in the 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and given the green light by 145 nations (Lawal, 2007). The strategies proposed are comprehensive and holistic in promoting acceptable governance, institutional and reforms.

There are four cornerstones of fighting corruption. These include “Prevention, criminalization, asset recovery and international cooperation” (Govender-Bateman, 2009). Transparency by well wishers and governments help the public to scrutinize use of funds and ensure accountability. Making public the steps undertaken to implement anti-corruption efforts goes a long way in eradication of this scourge. Sensitizing citizens on their rights, availing law materials and other strategies that promote openness suffocate corrupt dealings.

The private sector has a responsibility in the fight against corruption through eliminating bribery in acquisition of tenders, avoiding extortion and respecting regulations related to labour, environment and the fight against corruption (Fominyen, 2010). Corruption occurrences must be reported and acted upon. An environment that does not stand corruption is important to its eradication. Therefore, all community members, men and women, must take part in processes of making key decisions and act as a watchdog of the government.


Reference List

Fominyen, G. 2010. African development hindered by “quiet corruption”- World Bank, Reuters. Retrieved from:

Govender-Bateman, S. (2009). ‘Corruption Africa: A crime against development’, Inter Press Services. Retrieved from

Karklins, R. 2005. The System Made Me Do It: Corruption in Post-Communist Societies. New York: M.E. Sharpe.

Lawal, G. 2007. Corruption and development in Africa: challenges for political and economic change, Humanity and Social Sciences Journal, 2(1), pp 1-7.

Wei, J., et al. 2008. Corruption in economic development: beneficial grease, minor annoyance, or major obstacle? New York: World Bank.




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