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Corruption is a major contributor to Africa’s stunted development. By corroding and weakening governance institutions and the democratic values of human rights, gender equality, justice, and the rule of law, it has hindered the continent’s progress toward peace and prosperity. A 2002 AU study estimated that Africa loses about $150 billion annually to corruption. Illicit financial outflows, particularly in the extractive industry, cost the continent about $50 billion per annum – far exceeding the official development assistance that African countries receive from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries ($27.5 billion in 2016). This makes illicit financial outflows an important aspect for African leaders to focus on.
The 2018 World Press Freedom Index has just been released by Reporters Sans Frontières, and once again, the weak performance of African countries on that list cannot be ignored. Only four African countries are ranked among the top 30 countries in terms of media freedom, with Ghana, Namibia, South Africa, and Cape Verde placing 23rd, 26th, 28th, and 29th, respectively.