President-elect Trump may craft a new U.S. policy for Africa: Fighting Corruption

New York —Effective January 20, 2017, Africa has nothing to lose with president-elect Donald J. Trump Sr.’s incoming administration.

Per reliable sources, the incoming U.S. president may assist Africa than previous U.S. presidents in decades, by focusing on the main cause of Africa’s misery: Official corruption and public theft by the continent’s officials.

Analysts say the Trump’s administration’s fight to elevate and make Africa a great continent could include putting in place a framework and support system that will help monitor and track stolen wealth from the continent, and eventually return such wealth to the countries involved.

It might also entail working with major global financial institutions in freezing the assets and repossessing homes purchased by corrupt African leaders in the United States as well as leveling visa ban on families of dictators and corrupt officials on the continent.

Instead of sending unending aid to African nations whose leaders are undemocratic and corrupt, the incoming administration might prioritize trade and innovation partnership with the continent by investing in the private sector and civil society groups rather than fueling funds to corrupt governments, the source said.

President-elect Trump is a businessman who understand job creation and the importance of the private sector in transforming a country. This acumen will help him solve major foreign policy challenges relating to poverty alleviation in developing and poor countries.

The fact is, Africans as a people may be poor, but Africa as a continent is fantastically rich – in minerals, land, labor, natural talent and sunshine.

For example, South Sudan is potentially rich. It is a nation that is bigger than Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi combined. In a past interview with one of the country’s officials, Barnaba Benjamin, the minister responsible for Regional Co-operation, he outlined his country’s wealth: “Tremendous land! Very fertile, enormous rainfall, tremendous agricultural resources. Minerals! We have oil and many other minerals – go name it!”

Yet, undemocratic tendencies, power greed and international impunity accorded many African politicians have become a serious setback for the people of the continent.
Every African official in an African government frequently blames corrupt African leaders for their plight.

In a continent where corruption, nepotism and greed permeate every fabric of government–from the executive to the legislature and the judiciary ¬–it is difficult how progress can be made without tougher international display of intolerance.

President Sirleaf and then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
President Sirleaf and then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is Africa’s first and only female president currently, once said she underestimated the problem of graft in Liberia when she assumed office in 2006.”Maybe I should have sacked the whole government when I came to power,” she said.

“Africa is not poor,” President Johnson-Sirleaf added, “it is poorly managed.”

Many people would agree with the Liberian leader, but some would also point the blame of Africa’s problems on she and her colleagues who are running the continent with inaction.

Joyce Banda, the second woman president in Africa, and who was ousted at the polls for her administration’s failure to halt corruption in Malawi, echoed the impact of corruption on Africa.

While president, she challenged leaders across the African continent to be morally upright, shun corruption and serve their countries.

Delivering a lecture at the Cape Coast University in commemoration of the 4th anniversary of the death of late President John Evans Atta Mills, President Banda said corruption is impeding social and economic growth on the continent.

She noted that, leaders on the continent “have become corrupt, they have become enablers of corruption, fraud and social vices”.

Former Malawi's president, Joyce Banda
Former Malawi’s president, Joyce Banda

“Political corruption arising from the failure of embracing the principles and tendency of moral and servant leadership are cited by many vehement scholars and experts as a major impediment to social economic development and attainment of fair, just and progressive society.”

President Banda argued that that corruption when dealt with, will significantly improve the social economic development of citizens.

“Ethical conduct guided by moral principles, righteousness, selflessness and personal integrity gives legitimacy and credibility,” she maintained.

The problem is why Ms. Banda gave these flowering speeches, officials in her administration in Malawi were bent on graft and widespread public theft. This led her to losing an electoral challenge to the country’s current president.

Same with the Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in her unending sermon about corruption. Every African leader knows Africa’s problem but none has the prescription to solve it due to compromises, nepotism and self-preservation as leaders.

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Globe Afrique Editorial Page provides informative viewpoints and analysis as well as addresses evolving realities, events and developments unfolding in Africa, about Africans, African diaspora, people of African heritage, or with interest in Africa.

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