D.Haile 04-03-18

In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of …In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of “Confucius”- this conjures up whether good governance exists and proves the relationship between development and good governance.

Theoretically global drivers can play an important role in influencing state legitimacy depending on whether they help to generate incentives for better and more productive linkages between state and society or not. Empirical evidences show that global drivers more often play an important role in undermining linkages between state and society by generating perverse incentives for political elites influencing through advocacy groups and interest groups. For example, by providing access to unearned sources of income from natural resources rent and/or criminal activities, they effectively weaken elite incentives to engage with citizens, build public institutions and/or nurture the domestic economy. Three major features define contemporary western aid and overseas development policy. The first is the use of aid to promote open, ‘market friendly’ and competitive economies. This objective was embodied in the new conditionality of structural adjustment lending developed in the 1980s. Two further (and sometimes related) features have been added to the policy in the 1990s. These are support for democratization and the improvement of human right records on the one hand and insistence on what has come to be called ‘good governance’ on the other.

Material progress combined with spiritual decline is usually common. The clash of civilization we observe these days is celebrating the collapse of communism and cold war and the rise of globalization, with ideology disappearing as source of human identity while religion was returning to the front. In some events religions are being used as opium to keep the youth in stupor and victim of politicized religion. Funds are made to follow flags even with free trade imperialism. This means aid and donation are usually distorted by political calculation. Finally, donor-driven initiatives erode the home grown domestic policy space through debt structures, unfair trade practices and endless loan conditions that characterize donor-recipient relationships. It halts home grown development of democracy and autonomous government insulated from donor pressure, extremist pressure and interest groups pressure. The global context demands thinking beyond the canopy with attitude of think and communicate globally to act locally every time in providing local solutions to global problems.  The instructive lesson is thus to remain flexible and adoptable not dogmatic and rigid. Because the future is negotiable not predetermined destiny.

Corruption is not a new or recent phenomenon though it ballooned to its extreme levels during these days. The roots and genesis of corruption problems are decades in the making and the pestilence of inequality and corruption allure the feeling that life is unfair and precarious. Decades of empty promises for better living conditions and other unfulfilled commitments in combating poverty, corruption and indigent governance have left many people wary and suspicious of initiatives from any sphere of the government. The domino effect of corruption and indigent governance in managing public property assets like land shows enormous consequences on all sectors including economic development, poverty alleviation, the environment, political legitimacy, peace and security, and development cooperation.

Corruption and the looting of state properties at the top send a negative signal to the other civil servants and can encourage a corrupt culture and unethical conduct all across the civil service structure and business community. Without a strong, competent and clean civil service, development reform is bound to fail. It has both direct and indirect impacts on the security of common property rights, on access to land, fair wealth distribution and on revenue generation for the state. It directly diverts public funds and assets away from the public sectors into the hands of the select few. Moreover, it directly undermines the public trust in the ruling government and governance processes, a factor essential for good governance and lasting development reforms.

A corrupt bureaucratic system does not come out of a vacuum or from thin air. The genesis of corrupt and unfair practices is the system run by dysfunction corrupt and boredom rank and file party members of the ruling party. Moral deficit grows to practice delinquency. Political corruption takes place at the highest levels of the political system, and can thus be distinguished from administrative or bureaucratic corruption.  ‘What would happen so iron ores if gold rusts?’ A highly corrupt political system breeds a highly corrupt bureaucratic system. Political corruption in the form of wealth accumulation or extraction occurs when government officials use and abuse their hold on power to extract from government assets, from government revenues, from the private sector, and from the economy at large. Bureaucratic corruption takes place at the implementation end of politics, for example in government services such as land administration and when the tax department links with contraband community. Political corruption takes place at the formulation end of policies, where decisions are made on the distribution of the nation’s wealth and assets and on the rules of the game. Extraction takes place mainly in the form of the looting of state properties, soliciting bribes in bidding processes for concessions, procurement, in privatization processes such as the disposal and transfer of state property, land and in taxation or negotiation of concession fees.

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