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Highlights

  • 03:15 - Corruption as an artificial construct of failed institutions
  • 11:37 - How African community members have always held each other accountable
  • 17:39 - The office of the citizen
  • 23:48 - How we must choose political leaders across Africa
  • 31:50 - Capitalism and Africa

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Corruption, despite it being one of the frequently occurring topics discussed across the continent,  is not unique to Africa. Also, it did not originate in Africa. However, its effects, especially when it comes to the misuse of public funds, are more pronounced on the continent given how it robs citizens from having functional infrastructure and public services.

Given corruption's negative effects on public service delivery, is it something we can completely stop?

In this episode of  The Tefo Mohapi Show, I have an in-depth discussion with Oby Ezekwesili on to help us understand the origins of corruption in Africa, the incentives that exist to help it spread, and some ways we can curb it. Mama Ezekwesili also shares some thoughts on how we can fix politics.

Biography: Oby Ezekwesili

Obiageli ‘Oby’ Katryn Ezekwesili is a Chartered Accountant and former Vice President of the World Bank for Africa overseeing more than 1,500 staff with responsibility for the delivery of projects, economic and sectoral work in 47 Sub-Saharan countries with a lending portfolio of nearly $40 billion.

She is a Senior Economic Advisor, Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative at Open Society Foundation, advising nine reform-committed African heads of state on their economic development strategy, policies, and implementation.

Before this, Ezekwesili who holds a Masters Degree in International Law & Diplomacy from the University of Lagos, a Masters Degree in Public Policy & Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and a Bachelors Degree from the University of Nigeria, worked with Deloitte & Touche as an auditor, management, and financial services consultant. She then served as a founding Director of Transparency International (TI) and as its Director for Africa from 1994 to 1999. From 2000 to 2002, she worked with Professor Jeffrey Sachs as Director of the Harvard-Nigeria Economic Strategy program, during which time she was also appointed as an aide to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

She served as Minister of Education and Minister of Solid Minerals in the Nigerian government during the Obasanjo administration. While in government, Ezekwesili led the restructuring and refocusing of the Education Ministry for the attainment of Education for All (EfA) targets and Millennium Development Goals. She also introduced the Public-Private Partnership models for education service delivery; revamped the Federal Inspectorate Service as an improved quality assurance mechanism and introduced transparency and accountability mechanisms for better governance of the budget.

As Minister of Solid Minerals, she oversaw the passage of the Minerals and Mining Act, the establishment of the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, and opening of the sector to private participation.

Ezekwesili led the establishment of the Innovation and Vocational Enterprise Institutions initiatives which focuses on the development of skills for economic competitiveness, and in conjunction with the Nigerian Stock Exchange, launched the ‘Adopt-A-School’ program, an initiative that fosters philanthropy by corporations, community groups, and individuals.

She is the architect of the Bureau for Public Procurement legislation, pioneer head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit aka Due Process, key member of the Economic Team of the President, member of the Power Sector Reform Team which engineered the Power Sector Act of 2007, and pioneer Chairperson of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), leading on the legislation that created the initiative and first ever national implementation of the global EITI standards.

Ezekwesili, who is one of the co-founders of Transparency International – the global anti-corruption body with headquarters in Berlin, Germany, functioning as the organization’s Director for Africa from 1994 to 1999 – was given the national award of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR). She holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree from the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, and the University of Sussex, England, United Kingdom for her work in promoting transparency and accountability in government and lending a voice to the importance of the office of the citizen.

Podcast notes

Website: Oby Ezekwesili

Organization: Transparency International

Article: Nigeria female candidate Oby Ezekwesili quits presidential race by Al Jazeera.

Book: Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson.

Journal Article: Traditional Institutions and the State of Accountability in Africa by JSTOR.

Research Paper: Traditional Institutions and Governance in Modern African Democracies by SSRN.

Speech: Obiageli Ezekwesili's Passionate Speech On Africa's Youth by the World Economic Forum.

Organization: Robert Bosch Academy


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