Culture of ethical behaviour to minimise corruption – Dlamini-Zuma

How leaders can facilitate the development of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.

The first step in tackling corruption across the African continent is acknowledging that there is a problem and then doing something about it, says African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Speaking on the sidelines of The Junior Indaba in Johannesburg last week, she addressed the perception that corruption is seemingly isolated to Africa and praised leaders of the African Union and various African countries for their readiness to discuss and deal with corruption. “It is true that there is corruption in the world and Africa is part of that world. It is also true that the AU and African leaders have identified corruption as a problem that needs to be dealt with…We believe that there must be a culture of ethical behaviour to minimise corruption, besides catching the people who are corrupt and dealing with them decisively,” she said.  

Dlamini-Zuma also shared her views – in line with Agenda 2063, the African Union’s vision for an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful” continent – on how African leaders can make the most of the continent’s advantages to boost economic development.

“Africa’s most precious resource, in my view, is its people. We have an abundance of young people, by 2050 we will have the biggest workforce available in the world,” she said. According to World Bank estimates, Sub-Saharan Africa’s working age population is expected to rise from 450 million in 2010 to 1.56 billion by 2060, with close to 1 billion working age adults living in East and West Africa. To benefit from its working age workforce, she said countries would have to invest in the health and education, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, of their people.

Optimising the gains from the continent’s natural resources through beneficiation and value addition would go some way in creating jobs, increasing revenue and giving African countries a greater say in commodity markets. “As long as you are an exporter of raw materials, you cannot determine the price of any material that you produce,” said Dlamini-Zuma.

Africa’s unused arable land can also be used to increase its agricultural productivity and reduce its dependence on food imports. “We, as Africans, import 83% of the processed food that we consume, when we have 60% of the world’s unused arable land, when we have human resources, when we have the rivers and the sunshine,” she said.

She added that work must be done to modernise agriculture, make use of technological advances and present agriculture as an attractive business opportunity to young people. “In Africa, people look at agriculture as that activity that is done by young ladies and poor women,” she said.

Enhancing intra-African trade would also contribute to the share prosperity of nations across the continent. “There is no region in the world like Africa, where your biggest trading partner is across the ocean,” she said, calling on the development of transport infrastructure to facilitate the movement of goods and people across borders. Dlamini-Zuma added that building world class infrastructure, enhancing connectivity, including broadband connectivity, and increasing power supply capacity would also position the continent as a more attractive tourism destination.  

A more concerted effort must be also made to include women in economic activities. “Ensuring that women are skilled, that they have jobs [and] that they earn an income has a much bigger multiplier effect because women spend 70% or more of their income on the family, as opposed to men who spend only 30% of their income on the family. So if you give more resources to women, it means the family as a whole, men and women in the family have a better chance and the community has a better chance,” she said.



Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in and an Insider Gold subscriber to comment.


“…It is true that there is corruption in the world and Africa is part of that world…” According to your ex-husband all the other continents can fit inside Africa. Yet another talking head saying the obvious.

In most of Africa and especially in South Africa the following statement is true:
“When plunder becomes a way of life, men create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it” -Frederic Bastiat.

Culture of ethical behaviour ? ? ? ?
Please explain its meaning to the ANC and their supporters.
After all, Jacob did say ” corruption” is a Western concept. May I add ” greedily seized upon by the ANC”.

End of comments.





Follow us:

Search Articles:
Click a Company: