Namibia: Corruption Remains a Challenge - Alweendo

Mines and energy minister Tom Alweendo says Namibia is still faced with the challenge of corruption, despite achieving favourable rankings in regional and international indices.

The minister said this at the University of Namibia's faculty of economics and management sciences' conference at Keetmanshoop last week.

According to Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance, and the Afro-Barometer Survey, Namibia has moved places, showing the country as less eroded by corruption.

Said Alweendo: "Not only does corruption affect economic development in terms of economic efficiency and growth, it also affects the equitable distribution of resources, thereby increasing the income inequality in a society".

The minister added that corruption is largely caused by a lack of governance and ethics, and that the act, or even the perception of the act can have a negative effect on national resources.

He said corruption is not only bad for economic growth and enterprises, but also affects ordinary people, with the poor and the vulnerable being on the receiving end.

"There are various ways in which corruption affects economic development. For example, it has the potential to undermine our ability and capacity to collect tax revenue.

When taxpayers evade and avoid their responsibilities to pay taxes, it is a form of corruption, and it has an adverse effect on the provision of public services. Corruption also has an eroding long-term effect on economic growth at the corporate enterprise level. When companies and individuals evade their responsibility to pay the required taxes, it diminishes the government's ability to fund programmes aimed at poverty alleviation - thereby perpetuating the existing income inequality", Alweendo stressed.

The minister further explained how empirical evidence shows that a failure of governance leads to corruption, saying it is also his contention that corruption is usually a result of a lack of ethical leadership.

With ethical leadership - whether in the government, private sector or civil society - the absence of corruption is guaranteed.

charmaine@namibian.com.na;

Twitter: Char_Ngatjiheue.

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