Corruption

How Northern donors promote corruption: tales from the new Mozambique

In recent years, Northern aid donors have become more and more vocal about the need for Southern countries to clean themselves up. Yet they have refused to change their own policies that encourage corruption.

Corruption is a worldwide and age-old phenomenon. In recent years, Northern aid donors have become more and more vocal about the need for Southern countries to clean themselves up. Yet they have refused to change their own policies that encourage corruption, particularly those policies requiring economic liberalisation and cutting back on state expenditure and responsibilities.

In Mozambique, corruption was almost non-existent in the 1970s but grew to high levels during the 1990s. At least two forms of corruption – “state capture” (taking control of ministries, judiciary or regulatory agencies for personal or business interests) and “administrative corruption” (making unofficial payments to get officials to flout or to apply existing laws, rules and regulations)– are now rampant in the country.

Joseph Hanlon of the Open University, UK, who has written extensively on Mozambique for over 20 years, outlines how increasing intervention by international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, and bilateral aid donors in support of economic liberalisation is one of the primary causes of this growth in corruption.

Adding to the process have been tacit alliances between aid donors and a section of the Mozambican elite.

To visit the Corner House Web site:
www.thecornerhouse.org.uk

Joseph Hanlon, Corner House Briefing Paper 33, November 1, 2004

Categories: Corruption, Odious Debts

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