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AN EXAMINATION OF THE CAUSES AND EFFECT OF CORRUPTION IN CAMEROON POLITICAL CLASS

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AN EXAMINATION OF THE CAUSES AND EFFECT OF CORRUPTION IN CAMEROON POLITICAL CLASS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

Corruption is a widespread issue that affects all nations, and it is increasingly recognised that the traditional belief that corruption is solely a problem in less developed countries is incorrect. Developing countries consistently receive lower scores in corruption ratings. However, these ratings indicate that over two-thirds of countries globally are significantly affected by corruption, including half of the G20 nations. There is no nation in the world where corruption is completely absent. Addressing corruption only as a problem faced by less developed nations is not sufficient. Combating corruption requires international coordination, with all countries recognising their importance in this effort. Corruption is closely linked to both inequality and economic development. Understanding corruption deeply is crucial, especially when considering its associated expenses. The World Bank estimates that approximately one trillion US dollars are paid in bribes annually. The total costs of corruption are estimated to be around 2.6 trillion US dollars, equivalent to up to four percent of the global GDP according to the OECD in 2015, or the entire GDP of France. Corruption has wide-ranging implications, including decreased economic growth and misallocation of public funds, posing a significant barrier to a country's progress. Considering this, it is evident that combating corruption is not only driven by moral reasons but is also essential to reduce the significant losses that burden society collectively. One of the 17 Sustainability Goals of the UN is to combat corruption. A recent worldwide experiment conducted by Gächter and Schulz in 2016 shown the harmful impact of corruption on inherent honesty, in addition to its adverse impacts on the economy. Successfully combating corruption not only boosts money but also promotes honesty and morality. Corruption is a widespread and enduring problem that affects many nations globally, hindering economic growth, societal unity, and political steadiness. In Cameroon, corruption has been firmly established among the political elite, with harmful impacts on governance, public trust, and socioeconomic development. It is essential to comprehend the complex dynamics, underlying reasons, and significant effects of corruption in Cameroon's political realm in order to develop successful approaches to address this problem and promote transparent government (Alfred, 2020). 

Cameroon, situated in Central Africa, has plentiful natural resources and a varied cultural environment. Corruption has impeded the nation's development path, leading to poverty, inequality, and institutional deterioration despite opportunities for progress and prosperity. The political class, consisting of elected officials, bureaucrats, and powerful elites, has considerable authority and influence, which may lead to corrupt behaviour that undermines democratic values and diminishes public confidence (Anzanilufuno, 2020). 

Corruption among Cameroon's political class arises from a variety of historical legacies, institutional deficiencies, and socio-economic variables. Years of autocratic governance, marked by concentrated authority and lack of responsibility, have fostered a culture of impunity allowing corruption to flourish without consequences. The country's ineffective regulatory frameworks, unclear decision-making procedures, and insufficient enforcement mechanisms provide opportunities for corrupt behaviour and illegal actions among political leaders (Edward, 2016). 

Poverty, inequality, and limited access to basic services increase the susceptibility of regular people to corrupt behaviour, sustaining a pattern of patronage and clientelism in the democratic system. Lack of open and merit-based recruiting procedures promotes nepotism and favouritism, which undermines the integrity of public institutions and reduces their ability to effectively serve the demands of the population (Kahiga, 2020). 

Corruption among Cameroon's political class has substantial and far-reaching impacts, impacting different socio-economic elements. Corruption distorts resource allocation by diverting public funding from important services like healthcare, education, and infrastructure development, hindering human growth and worsening poverty. Furthermore, it subverts the legal system and diminishes institutions, which diminishes public trust in the government's capacity to administer justice and protect people' rights (Munyai, 2020). Corruption promotes a culture of impunity, allowing powerful persons to avoid responsibility for their acts, which leads to ongoing societal injustice and inequality. Corruption has corrosive repercussions that go beyond the economy, impacting social cohesiveness and political stability by breeding anger, dissatisfaction, and social unrest among marginalised areas. Corruption weakens the integrity of democratic institutions, reducing voters' faith in the election process and hindering meaningful political involvement and accountability. 

Given these issues, there is an urgent need for thorough study that investigates the origins and consequences of corruption among Cameroon's political elite. Policymakers, civil society organisations, and international stakeholders can develop specific interventions and reforms to promote transparency, accountability, and good governance by understanding the root causes and vulnerabilities that allow corruption to flourish (Levels, 2016). Ultimately, combating corruption in the political elite is crucial for promoting sustainable development, enhancing democratic institutions, and enhancing the welfare of all citizens in Cameroon.therefore, the researcher sought to examine the causes and effect of corruption in Cameroon political class.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Corruption is a ubiquitous and deeply rooted problem among the political class of Cameroon, considerably affecting the nation's socio-economic growth, political stability, and public faith in government institutions. Although there is increasing awareness and occasional attempts to tackle this issue, there is still a limited comprehensive grasp of the underlying causes and various impacts of corruption among the political leaders in Cameroon. There is an urgent want for a methodical examination to reveal the root causes of corruption in this particular setting and to clarify its extensive effects on government, public services, and societal well-being (Alfred, 2020). This study is to investigate the origins and consequences of corruption among the political elite in Cameroon. The goal is to provide valuable information for shaping policy interventions, institutional changes, and anti-corruption measures specifically designed for the situation in Cameroon. Hence, the need to  examine the causes and effect of corruption in Cameroon political class.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to examine the causes and effect of corruption in Cameroon political class. The specific objectives is as follows 

Assess the level of corruption perpetrated by the Cameroon's political class

Identify the major causes of corruption among Cameroon's political class

Examine the impact of corruption on  public service delivery efforts in Cameroon.

propose strategies for combating corruption among Cameroon's political sphere

1.4 Research questions

The following questions have been prepared to guide the study

What is the level of corruption perpetrated by the Cameroon's political class?

What are the major causes of corruption among Cameroon's political class?

What is the impact of corruption on  public service delivery efforts in Cameroon?

What are the proposed strategies for combating corruption among Cameroon's political sphere?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to the Cameroonian government as corruption undermines economic development by diverting resources away from productive sectors and into the hands of a few individuals or groups. Addressing corruption can lead to more efficient allocation of resources and foster economic growth, which is a key priority for the Cameroonian government.

The findings of the study will be beneficial to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature on the subject matter.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on  the causes and effect of corruption in Cameroon political class. Empirically, the study will  assess the level of corruption perpetrated by the Cameroon's political class, identify the major causes of corruption among Cameroon's political class, examine the impact of corruption on  public service delivery efforts in Cameroon and propose strategies for combating corruption among Cameroon's political sphere.

1.7 Limitations of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced

1.8 Definition of terms

Corruption: dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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