Causes Of Corruption In Africa’s Developing Countries


The major goal of this research project is to contribute to the solution of the problem of bribes and kickbacks in corporations that create a significant corruption challenge in most African countries. The following objectives have to be underlined:

  • To investigate the current situation in African organizations.
  • To identify the causes of corruption in developing African countries.
  • To study the impact of neo-patrimonialism on African corruption.
  • To examine unethical business practices in African organizations.
  • To find out the appropriate solutions to decrease bribery and money laundering in leader organizations.

Justification of the Proposed Research Project

Today, there are many factors that affect the progress of corruption in African businesses. Some of them include the development of illegal business by using bribes and kickbacks to get contracts, the intention to monopolize markets, and the preference for forceful coercion for business transactions (Adeyeye, 2017; Budhram & Geldenhuys, 2018). Neo-patrimonialism remains one of the common regime types that cannot be ignored due to its negative outcomes when state resources are used to meet the interests of clients (Masenya, 2017). All these problems have already been identified in South Africa, but not many effective solutions are offered at the moment. Thus, this research project should help investigate the situation in some African organizations and apply the examples of other countries mentioned in scholarly articles to improve the situation.

The Proposed Sample Group

It is expected to cooperate with several groups of people who could have some relationship to corruption affairs in the country:

  • Leaders (at least 2-3 individuals)
  • Employees (at least 10-20 people)
  • Ordinary citizens who could become clients or stakeholders (at least 20 persons)

The specific criteria should include English language awareness, age (older than 25 years), citizenship (African), and employment (at least one year). In addition, the research will rely on African legislation and primary data from monitoring reports and surveys conducted within the last ten years. Secondary data that contains facts about corruption, bribery, and kickbacks in leader organizations will also be used for the analysis of recent observations and achievements.

Formulation of the Proposed Sample Group

The researcher understands that it is not easy to find people who are ready to confess their connection with illegal operations and transactions. However, it is necessary to formulate several sample groups and give clear explanations and guarantees of how this research is organized. Several companies will be chosen from the list of the most successful in the region, and a list of questions will be created separately for leaders, employees, and citizens. Special consent forms and permissions must be obtained to avoid ethical or legal controversies.

The Involvement of the Sample Group in the Research Process

Before answering the questions, the participants should discuss with the researcher the most convenient ways of communication. Some people could prefer to answer questions online (via e-mail or Skype), while it is also important to create an opportunity for face-to-face meetings. In general, there will be ten questions divided into three sections for each sample group. The first three questions will contain some demographic information about the participant. The next four questions will be about the cases of corruption in their lives. The last three questions aim at defining what methods are used to fight against or support corruption in African businesses. All participants need to complete the offered questionnaire forms within one hour, depending on their workload and free time access. As soon as the questionnaire is complete, the researcher will gather the material and make sure it is safely stored.

The Consent of Subjects

Corruption is a very provocative topic, and research subjects should be provided with all necessary guarantees and protection. The researcher is responsible for sharing and gathering information under very strict conditions. As has already been mentioned, it is important to obtain consent from participants. After short communication with people, the researcher will send a letter to every participant individually with the conditions and guarantees being properly described. First, the description of the study is given to inform the participants about the project and their possible contributions. Second, confidentiality is promoted under special laws and legislations implemented in the country. Finally, all subjects should understand that their participation is voluntary, and they can withdraw from the project at any time without giving explanations.

Potential Risks to Subjects

On the one hand, the participation in this study is clearly described before its initiation. Before the questionnaire is sent, all questions and concerns may be discussed with the researcher. On the other hand, the pressure related to bribes and other illegal transactions is hard to predict (Adamolekun, 2021). Many gender and ethical dilemmas occur while discussing neo-patrimonialism, institutional suppression, and economic instability in the country (Galperin et al., 2020; Masenya, 2017; Turyakira, 2018). Policy remediations and managerial actions are used to mitigate corruption in some cases, but each organization is unique, depending on leadership style and cooperation (Ufere et al., 2020). The main problems will be related to information disclosure, personal involvement in illegal activities, and unwillingness to cooperate with unknown people. To mitigate the risks of the participation of human subjects in this study, the researcher needs to share all information about the study and underline the goal, which is not to reveal and punish criminals but to understand if corruption is a challenge for African society.

The Procedures to Maintain the Anonymity and Confidentiality of the Subjects

Communication about corruption in African organizations has to be properly organized and planned. All participants get guarantees that their names or the names of involved individuals and organizations will never be mentioned in the study or anywhere else. The material that will be published will contain general numbers to prove or disprove the existence of bribers and other activities that feed up corruption in Africa. Confidentiality and anonymity are the two basic issues in the chosen project.


Adamolekun, R. (2021). Glencore, BP litigations show oil bribery played part in Nigeria’s 2015, 2019 elections – report. Premium Times.

Adeyeye, A. (2017). Bribery: cost of doing business in Africa. Journal of Financial Crime, 24(1), 56-64.

Budhram, T., & Geldenhuys, N. (2018). Combating corruption in South Africa: Assessing the performance of investigating and prosecuting agencies. Acta Criminologica: African Journal of Criminology & Victimology, 31(2), 23-46.

Galperin, B. L., Enueme, C. F., & Dixon, D. P. (2020). Pay the bribe or take the high road: Dilemma of a young female Tanzanian entrepreneur. The CASE Journal, 16(1), 75-96.

Masenya, M. J. (2017). Neo-patrimonialism, corruption, and governance in South Africa. African Journal of Public Affairs, 9(9), 146-156.

Turyakira, P. K. (2018). Ethical practices of small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries: Literature analysis. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 21(1).

Ufere, N., Gaskin, J., Perelli, S., Somers, A., & Boland Jr, R. (2020). Why is bribery pervasive among firms in sub-Saharan African countries? Multi-industry empirical evidence of organizational isomorphism. Journal of Business Research, 108, 92-104.