Dr Marc Wegerif, of the Human Economy Programme within the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at University of Pretoria, was presenting at the 2019 Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA) in Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire on 28 November 2019. The theme of the CLPA was “Winning the fight against Corruption in the Land Sector: Sustainable Pathway for Africa’s Transformation”. The conference was convened by the African Land Policy Centre and brought together over 600 participants from across the continent and different sectors including community organizations and NGOs, to academics and policy makers from government and multilateral agencies.
Marc’s presentation questioned the conference focus on “corruption” which he argued created the incorrect impression that ending corruption could on its own bring about the transformation we need in Africa, as if corruption is the only thing holding Africa back. This diverts us away from addressing larger injustices and challenges, such as increasing inequality and how rich elites from around the world, in collaboration with local elites, are extracting more wealth from Africa. These processes are based on rent seeking, abuse of
political influence and appropriation of wealth, but these practices are not called corrupt, because the same elites who benefit from them use their influence to legitimise them.
For more on the event and Marc's presentation, you can access a full description on the Land Portal website here.