This concluding chapter assesses the three questions addressed in this book: How can one understand the endemic nature of corruption in Africa? Why has the existing array of anti-corruption measures failed so singularly to curb corruption? What can be done about it? The analytical optic of the three requirements for the commission of a crime—motive, opportunity, and means—provides a useful approach to understanding the many facets of corruption's pervasiveness. First, the motives for, or driving forces behind, corruption are similar. They lie in notions of perceived obligations to benefit the family, clan, or group. Secondly, the state and its functioning offer ample opportunity for corrupt conduct. Moreover, the formal institutions of restraint, such as Parliament, are hamstrung by the lack of separation of powers in practice. Although defects in the legal edifice for combating corruption are pointed out in this book, available measures could perform the task, should the will be there. The greatest failing, then, is their poor and selective implementation due to a lack of political will. All three aspects of the crime of corruption need to be tackled head on. Opportunities should be reduced, the means minimized, and a new narrative crafted to replace old motives.
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