POLITICAL LEADERSHIP ISSUES IN AFRICA: LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE 2015 NIGERIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

by

Lati Folami, PhD & Alain Nkoyock, PhD

INTRODUCTION

buhari
The Nigerian presidential election 2015 has come and gone. Thankfully, the conduct of the election was peaceful and the loser, the incumbent president accepted defeat graciously. The purpose of this article is to analyze some of the issues thrown up by the presidential election and the implications on political leadership in Africa.

Political leadership in Africa lacks feelings of patriotism and has over the years evolved into a patrimonial system aimed at recycling of elites and the use of state power and resources to consolidate political and economic powers. Politics in Africa has thus developed a new definition whereby it is construed as typical extra-legal contest for political and economic domination between elites and politicians. The redefinition of purpose perhaps best explains the noise and willingness to kill and destroy during elections in most African states in the bid towards the controlling of national power and the resources of the state.

The objective of this article is to examine the political structure of Nigeria in relation to the role of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the election process and the introduction of the use of biometrics in the registration of voters. The article discusses issues arising for the Presidential election including acceptance of defeat by the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, the role of Nigeria’s one time president, Olusegun Obasanjo in politics in Nigeria, and what to expect from the president-elect General Buhari now that he has been voted into office. Lessons to be learnt from the presidential election on intergenerational injustice and political leadership for African youth is also considered. The article concludes with remarks on the political future of Nigeria and the African continent in general.

POLITICAL STRUCTURE OF NIGERIA

The Federal Republic of Nigeria, a West-African country operates the Presidential system of Government with three distinct arms of government; the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. The country is composed of 36 States, and a Capital Territory, with an elected President and a Bi-cameral Legislature. The Executive arm of Government, at the Federal level, consists of the President, the Vice-president and other members of the Federal Executive Council, while at the State level, it is made up of the Governor, the Deputy Governor and other members of the State Executive Council. The Legislature is constituted at the Federal level of a 109-member Senate and a 360-member House of Representatives known as the National Assembly. At the State level, the Legislature is known as the House of Assembly.

The Judiciary interprets the laws and adjudicates in conflicts between citizens and between the other arms of government. It carries out these functions through the various established courts; the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the Federal High Court, the state High Courts, Magistrate Court, Area Court and Customary Court. The President, The Governor, their Deputies, as well as members of the Legislature at both Federal and State levels are elected, under the present constitution, for four years, renewable only once. Government is due to change hands on May 29th 2015. Elections are to be held in March and April 2015 to this end.  Elections into the office of President, Senate and Federal House of representative have been concluded. This discourse will consider next the role played by the Nigerian electoral commission, the Independent Electoral Commission in the organization and conduct of elections.

THE ROLE OF INEC AND BIOMETRICS

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was established by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to among other things organize elections into various political offices in the country. The functions of INEC as contained in Section 15, Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended) and Section 2 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) include; organizing, undertaking and supervising all elections to the offices of the President and Vice-President, the Governor and Deputy Governor of a State, and to the membership of the Senate, the House of Representatives and the House of Assembly of each state of the federation; registering political parties  in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and Act of the National Assembly; monitoring the organization and operation of the political parties. INEC is also responsible for the certification and declaration of election results.

The 2015 presidential elections was characterized by some innovations introduced by INEC to fortify the electoral system against abuse. For instance, the biometric Register of Voters was introduced as a mandatory part of the electoral process. INEC commenced the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise nationwide in 2014, with the aim of updating the biometric Register of Voters. The use of biometrics is aimed at preventing multiple registration by voters. In addition to the use of biometrics, INEC introduced the Advanced Fingerprints Identification System (AFIS) software for de-duplication of voters’ consolidated data. The software enables the INEC database to retain only one instance of an individual’s data and eliminates the extras.

Another innovation introduced by INEC is the issuance of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to all voters who have been properly captured on the biometric Register of Voters and the use of card readers to verify voters. With the new system each voter must produce his/her PVC at the polling booth where he/she intends to vote. The card readers and the PVC made verification and authentication of each voter possible prior to actual vote which is still done manually. This process make it difficult if not impossible to vote by proxy using the voter’s card belonging to another person. The new system also made it possible to ascertain the number of duly authenticated voters who voted at each polling booth.

INEC clearly bent over backwards to make the 2015 presidential elections and, indeed, the governorship as well as other elections to be conducted in 2015 showpieces of Nigeria’s conformity with global best standards. The process of acceptance of defeat by the incumbent Nigerian president and how this act helps in nation building, peace, harmony and patriotism is considered in the next section.

GOODLUCK AND ACCEPTANCE OF DEFEAT

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat to Muhammadu Buhari in the just concluded 2015 presidential elections thus paving the way for an unprecedented peaceful transfer of power in Africa’s most populous nation. The President’s timely concession statement could mark a watershed moment for the entire African Continent. He has sent a precedent and a standard for future generations of leaders not only in Nigeria but on the African continent that once you have set down rules, you must live by them even when the rules do not favour you.

Jonathan becomes is among the few African leaders to leave office through a free and fair democratic election. A previous generation of African leaders either held no elections at all or shamelessly rigged every contest. Some insisted on staying in power in explicit defiance of the ballot box. Robert Mugabe lost the first round of Zimbabwe’s presidential election in 2008 but clung to office anyway, plunging his country into a bloodbath in the process. Mwai Kibaki did the same in Kenya in 2007, causing even greater loss of life

That singular act of statesmanship by President Jonathan was all it took to prevent innocent blood from being shed and to douse the mounting tension as the different regional factions and interest groups from within the elite prepared to feud over power. A peaceful transfer of power come May 29th, 2015 will be the first time in Nigeria’s history that an opposition party has democratically taken control of the governance from the ruling party. President Jonathan’s defeat marks the first time in Nigeria’s political history when a sitting president will be defeated in the presidential election. Jonathan’s party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has governed since decades of military dictatorship ended in 1999.

This could be the beginning of a badly needed and long overdue political maturity for Nigeria’s young democracy. In Jonathan’s own words, no one’s ambition is worth the unity, stability and progress of the country. Political instability which breeds corruption, tyranny and upheavals have been the major vices holding back much of the African continent from attaining its full potential ever since the end of colonization in the 1960s.

The absence of regular power transfers promotes political instability and conflict. Without the rule of law Africa, the continent loses out on foreign investment from the outside world and also loses valuable human capital as a result of migration of human capital to western economies. Elections are due to hold soon in several African countries: Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Chad, Burkina Faso and Uganda.

In Nigeria, several factors culminated to seal Jonathan’s fate. His failure to contain the uprising of Boko Haram the homicidal fanatical militia and his inability to combat corruption were probably chiefs among these factors.

Some analysts have commented that Jonathan’s defeat had been a long time coming. President Jonathan apparently suffered a major blow in December 2013 when the erstwhile President, Obasanjo, his former backer, called on him to step down. Obasanjo made headlines when he sent a widely circulated 18-page letter to Jonathan in 2013. In the letter, Obasanjo accused Jonathan of failing to deal with the many problems facing Nigeria – including an Islamist insurgency in the north-east, corruption, piracy, kidnapping and oil theft.

The poor handling of the missing $20 Billion from NNPC and the failure to prosecute those found to be involved in the subsidy scam and the reluctance to remove aviation minister after mismanagement of funds in the industry was discovered.

Another major blow befell Jonathan and his ruling party when a powerful faction of PDP members, including state governors and legislators defected to the newly formed opposition All Progressives Congress (APC). The joint defection by the Governors paved the way for President Jonathan’s defeat, as they rallied support for General Buhari.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM GENERAL BUHARI NOW?

Permutations and expectations are in top gear that General Buhari will salvage the Nigerian economy from the abyss it is free falling into. The operators of various sectors of the economy have advised the incoming government of General Buhari to implement a blue print for the economy that will enhance the living standard of Nigerians. The quest for regular electricity supply is a top priority that should be tackled by the incoming administration. Power statistics from the Federal Ministry of Power puts the national energy generation at 3,540 Mega Watts (mw) as at March 31, 2015 whereas the peak demand is estimated at 12,800 mw, indicating a shortfall of about 9260mw.

The precarious security situations across the country; the war of terror being waged by Boko Harm and other militia groups, the volatile Niger Delta, the rash of kidnapping and armed robberies ongoing in the southern parts of Nigeria is another area that deserves to be given priority attention. The incoming administration is expected to wage a sustainable attack on the issues of corruption. The government of General Buhari is equally expected to develop and implement a plan of action to address Nigeria’s unemployment which is at an ‘all time’ high. The Nigerian education and health sectors require urgent attention. Acceleration of reforms in the oil and gas sector in order to attract more investments in both the upstream and downstream segments of the sector is another area that requires urgent attention.

The incoming administration is expected to address urgently the fundamental of the high cost of doing business and low productivity. The incoming government will need to create a level playing field for all investors across all sectors with regard to import tariffs, funding opportunities, tax incentives. Massive infrastructural development, enhanced retail system, planned industrialization of the Nigerian economy are some other areas that the incoming President needs to give priority attention. The free fall of the Naira as a result of the Global Oil Crisis must also be addressed.

In addition to the priority areas mentioned above which are far from being exhaustive, General Buhari is expected to continue most of the sound economic policies initiated by previous governments, such as the agricultural transformation and the various SME development initiatives, including the sustainability of the SME intervention funds and the establishment of the Development Bank of Nigeria.

INTERGENERATIONAL INJUSTICE, POLITICAL LEADERSHIP AND Lessons for African youth

A society is intergenerationally just when each generation contributes its fair share such that members of succeeding generations, both inside and outside its borders, will be in a position to satisfy their needs, at the same time to avoid serious harm and yet to have the opportunity to enjoy things of value. Intergenerational injustice is the antithesis of this. The concept of intergenerational justice is often used in relation to the environment and sustainability.

In the context of political leadership, everything done to frustrate the younger generation to lead: they are unprepared, not supported when they have the chance or arrogance. A genuinely inclusive society needs to ensure that its youth participate in all its affairs; that young people’s views are included in development policies and that young people develop leadership skills. In many African countries, youth have either remained marginalized or not played a role in the political process. This is largely due to institutional and policy constraints of the state and society. Cultural factors that dictate that decision making is the preserve of elders may also be part of the problem,

Most African countries have government ministries or departments with the explicit mandate of addressing youth issues, and many have national youth policies and councils pursuant to their obligations under the African Youth Charter, but a lot still needs to done in order to achieve the mandates of these bodies. African youth have been only marginally involved in civic participation, electoral participation and providing a political voice. This is partly due to lack of quota systems in political processes and in political parties of many African countries. Accordingly, youth remain on the fringe of political parties.

In countries where there are mechanisms and policies in place for youth participation, these have not been implemented due to the vested interests of the established political elites.

Despite this unfavorable context, youth have managed to negotiate and force their way to political participation and economic success. The North African experience has provided an inspiring example about the determination of youth to fight for what they believe and bring about change.

Examples of youth social movements and initiatives across the continent which empower young people include: the “Y’en a marre” (Enough is Enough) movement in Senegal; the “Communication for Development” in Cape Verde; the “Young Acting for Change” program in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Togo.

In a Nigerian Youth Agenda on Political Participation was developed ahead of the 2015 election together with a Nigerian Youth Inter party Forum. The forum is primarily used by youth members across party lines to come together and deliberate on issues of common interest and challenges among other things one being expanding the frontiers for youth political participation.

People under the age of 35 are rarely found in formal political leadership positions. In a third of countries, eligibility for the national parliament starts at 25 years or higher and it is common practice to refer to politicians as ‘young’ if they are below 35-40 years of age. Youth is not represented adequately in formal political institutions and processes such as Parliaments, political parties, elections, and public administrations. The situation is even more difficult for both young women as well as women at mid-level and decision-making/leadership positions.

Leadership is rarely handed over to one, you have to seize it or take charge of it decisively. Every generation of leaders must have a clear vision for the future. While not forgetting injustices of the past we must not let this preoccupy us from forging a way forward.

Bassin du Lac Tchad : Vers un Etat islamique Boko Haram ?

Si rien n’est fait maintenant, le bassin du Lac Tchad va devenir, sans délai, un Etat Islamique Boko Haram. Nous sommes à l’aube d’une autre catastrophe humanitaire, après celle de l’assèchement du lac, sans que cela n’attire suffisamment l’attention du monde entier, communauté internationale, instances régionales et sous-régionales comprises. Les récentes percées de Boko Haram et le désordre en Libye vont continuer à nourrir le terrorisme dans cette région.

Le bassin est d’une superficie de 967.000 km² (sans la Libye). Il comprend trois régions du Cameroun, deux régions du Niger, six (Etats fédérés) du Nigeria, trois régions de la RCA et l’ensemble du territoire du Tchad, avec une population estimée à 30 millions. Les habitants du bassin du Lac Tchad sont issus de plusieurs groupes ethniques et tribaux (Kanouris, Mobbers, Boudoumas, Haoussas, Kanembous, Kotokos, Arabes shewa, Haddas, Kouris, Fulanis et Mangas). Ils sont pêcheurs, éleveurs, agriculteurs ou commerçants.

lake Chad

Depuis plus de trois ans, les parties camerounaise et nigériane du bassin sont touchées, de plein fouet, par le terrorisme de la secte, avec comme conséquences de lourdes pertes en vies humaines, des enlèvements, des destructions de biens privés et publics. Boko Haram détient toujours plus de 200 jeunes filles kidnappées en avril 2014 dans leur lycée de Chibok dans l’État de Borno. Depuis cet événement qui a marqué les esprits, et malgré l’apparente gesticulation mondiale, le groupe islamiste continue d’enlever ou de tuer régulièrement des milliers d’hommes, femmes et enfants. Même si les statistiques ne sont pas disponibles, à ce jour, le conflit entre Boko Haram et les forces de sécurité camerounaise et nigériane ont fait plus de 20 000 morts et 1 500 000 déplacés.

Beaucoup dépeignent cette situation comme le résultat d’une crise politique interne au Nigeria, depuis le troisième mandat raté du Président Obasanjo, qui a été forcé par le Sénat en 2006 de quitter le pouvoir au profit de feu le Président Yaradu’a, nordiste, malade et décédé en 2010, avec comme vice-président le discret homme politique sudiste de l’Etat de Bayelsa, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, qui préside aujourd’hui aux destinées du pays. Mais cela n’explique pas comment un petit groupe de malfrats de Yobe est devenu une puissante force qui défie les armées organisées, redoutables et républicaines, comme celle du Cameroun. Pour comprendre la dynamique de cette crise, nous devons examiner trois causes profondes :

La première cause est l’héritage de la colonisation. Le Cameroun et le Nigeria ont accédé à l’indépendance en 1960 et sont devenus la même année membres de l’ONU. En février 1961, la population du Cameroun septentrional a décidé, à une majorité importante, d’accéder à l’indépendance, en s’unissant à la Fédération de Nigeria, en application de la résolution 1608 (XV) de l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies. Aujourd’hui, presque chaque nigérian nordiste a une famille de l’autre côté au Cameroun et vis-versa. La porosité de nos frontières n’a pas initialement permis un contrôle strict sur le transfert des armes et l’utilisation du Cameroun comme base logistique par les djihadistes Boko Haram.

La deuxième cause est la mauvaise gouvernance politique et socio-économique. La situation socio-économique de la plupart des pays de la région se trouve, d’une manière générale, fortement détériorée, au regard des indicateurs pessimistes des secteurs sociaux de base. Depuis moins d’un quart de siècle, de nouvelles ressources économiques (agricoles, minières, industrielles) y créent une nouvelle différenciation de l’espace, une grande mobilité des populations et l’apparition de conflits intercommunautaires. Or, le bassin du lac Tchad apparaît comme une zone d’échange privilégiée entre Afrique du Nord et Afrique centrale.

Les pays du bassin font face à des dissensions internes depuis des années, exacerbées par un manque de consensus politiques. Au Nigeria, dès l’annonce des intentions du Président Obasanjo de réformer la Constitution afin de briguer un troisième mandat, le vice-président nordiste Atiku Abubakar, futur candidat à l’élection présidentielle de 2007, a pris le flambeau pour mener une campagne contre cet amendement. Atiku était ainsi soutenu par des politiciens nordistes majoritairement musulmans, tel que l’ex-général et ancien président Muhammadu Buhari, principal challenger du Président Goodluck à l’élection présidentielle de février 2015. Cependant, le départ d’Obasanjo et la santé fragile de Yaradu’a n’ont pas aidé le pays à se maintenir dans cette dynamique de développement initiée par Obasanjo. Chez nous, le Cameroun traverse une période de transition politique assez compliquée, amplifiée par les arrestations des grands dignitaires du pays dans le cadre de la lutte contre la corruption.

Enfin, la troisième cause provient des faiblesses de l’intégration sous-régionale. Depuis l’avènement des indépendances, le bassin a toujours connu une situation d’instabilité au plan socio-économique. Cette situation a conduit les pouvoirs publics à chercher d’abord à consolider leur autorité au plan interne avant de s’engager dans d’autres entreprises, notamment l’intégration. Cet état de choses a renforcé un micro nationalisme latent avec, pour conséquence, une prédominance des intérêts nationaux très étroits et souvent à court terme, sur l’esprit communautaire. C’est l’une des raisons pour lesquelles la Commission du Bassin du Lac Tchad (CBLT) peine à mettre en place un mécanisme communautaire de prévention et la résolution des conflits.

Le 17 mai 2014, les chefs d’Etat (Nigeria, Cameroun, Benin, Tchad, Niger) et le président François Hollande se sont réunis à Paris et ont adopté un plan d’action régional pour lutter contre la secte. Les Etats-Unis, la Grande-Bretagne et l’Union européenne y étaient également représentés. Le plan adopté par le sommet prévoit la coordination du renseignement, l’échange d’informations, le pilotage central des moyens, la surveillance des frontières, une présence militaire autour du lac Tchad et une capacité d’intervention en cas de danger.

Le 7 octobre 2014, un sommet régional de chefs d’Etat africains pour lutter contre la secte a été organisé à Niamey autour du président nigérien Mahamadou Issoufou, et ses homologues du Nigeria, du Tchad, du Bénin et le ministre de la défense du Cameroun. Comme d’habitude en Afrique centrale, la date butoir du 20 novembre 2014 a été dépassée sans que la coordination des forces mixtes et la finalisation des contingents soient effectives, éléments essentiels de la stratégie de lutte commune élaborée par des états-majors des différents pays du bassin.

Sur le terrain, la secte a multiplié les menaces verbales, les attaques meurtrières sur les civils, les institutions publiques, les extorsions d’argent aux hommes d’affaires et les prises des camps militaires, mettant en doute l’efficacité des actions entreprises pour contenir le terrorisme.

BH destruction

Les stratégies annoncées ont deux défauts majeurs : a) la non prise en compte des organisations régionales comme la CEMAC, la CEEAC, ou l’Union Africaine (UA) mais surtout la CBLT, dont l’une des missions est la préservation de la paix et la sécurité dans le bassin ; b) la non-implication officielle des organisations islamiques comme l’Organisation de la coopération islamique, capables d’enrichir les stratégies adoptées avec des discussions avec les musulmans membres de la secte.

La non-traduction en action de la volonté politique des Etats membres, la prédominance des intérêts nationaux sur l’esprit communautaire, la duplicité et les suspicions, une très grande dépendance de certains dirigeants vis à vis de l’extérieur, des infrastructures inadéquates, surtout dans le domaine de la communication, le manque de confiance pour certaines armées dans la gestion des informations stratégiques collectées par les drones, ont contribué à amplifier cette crise.

carte-barkhane-fr (2)

Le Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU doit rapidement voter une résolution pour le déploiement dans cette région d’un contingent international de prévention et maintien de la paix, qui collaborera étroitement avec la Minusca en RCA et l’opération Barkhane. Le caractère global de la menace d’un éventuel Etat islamique sur le bassin du Lac Tchad, que représentent les djihadistes de Boko Haram et autres terroristes, a pour objectif, au-delà du bassin « d’établir leur pouvoir sur la bande sahélienne de l’Atlantique à l’Océan Indien et d’y installer leur régime obscurantiste impitoyable. » Les erreurs du passé en Irak, en Afghanistan, en Libye, en Syrie ou au Mali, doivent servir de leçons à la communauté internationale.

En attendant, à quoi sert le Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l’UA dans la prévention et la résolution des conflits en Afrique si de telles atrocités peuvent se passer sur le sol africain sans qu’il y ait au moins une réunion de crise accompagnée des actions immédiates et appropriées ? A quoi sert un organe de promotion, de maintien et de consolidation de la paix et de la sécurité de l’Afrique centrale (COPAX) ? Voici les questions que tout africain doit se poser !

Public Procurement Reforms in Africa: Why goPRS is Important?

Many African countries have made the fight against corruption and improving governments a priority.  Tremendous progress has been made since those countries ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2003.

The Convention against Corruption has been the foundation upon which Africans have built strong laws, regulations and procedures that have enhanced our ability to manage our government resources and money.  Some countries have met the requirements of UNCAC. Some have not…!

In public procurement, some African countries have met the initial requirements and recommendations of UNCAC by establishing rules and procedures addressing, for example:

  1. Objective, unbiased decision making
  2. Publication of procurement opportunities
  3. Establishment and publication of qualification and award qualification prior to issuing solicitation
  4. Removal of all obstacles to equal participation in solicitation opportunities
  5. Specifications that clearly define requirements and are not biased toward any particular vendor
  6. Conflicts of interest, signed declarations of interest and prohibition from participation
  7. Confidential information

In addition, violation of the provisions of the national public procurement acts is considered a crime subject to incarceration and fines.  Civil violations may result in disbarment of the vendor and termination of the government employee’s employment. Trainings have provided to government employees, potential vendors and the general public.  Civil parties have been included on evaluation teams.  Vendors may appeal decisions and review meaningful review of their complaints.

Is there room for improvement?  YES.  Is there need for more assistance in these areas?  YES.

The reality is, however, that with all their efforts, corruption as measured by Transparency International has not appreciably decreased as a result in Africa.  With all the rules, procedures and training required by UNCAC  and with all that have been added by countries, the odds of getting caught are still small compared to the benefits of fraudulent gain – remember according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) it is 100’s of billions of dollars.

Although review of contracts over certain monetary thresholds may be effective, only the tip of the iceberg is uncovered.  The mass of corruption is where it can’t be seen.  More troubling, with limited resources, review thresholds are raised and even fewer contracts are actually reviewed before award.  This has happened everywhere in Africa!

What I would like to draw your attention on as a reader of this piece of work is ACCOUNTABILITY:  Corruption and fraud thrive and prosper when there is no meaningful accountability.  Were the required procedures followed?  transparent? objective?  fair? unbiased?  Are our vendors qualified?  Are they real or phantoms?  Do our specifications bias a particular vendor?  Splitting of tenders justified?  Sole source contracts justified?  Evaluations conducted in accordance with pre-established criteria?  The questions go on and on.

The sheer volume of transactions involved in public procurement makes it difficult to prevent and detect corruption as it occurs on case-by-case basis.  According to UNODC, procurement is 15-30% of the Gross Domestic Product of most nations.  Of this, 20-25% of total public contract value is lost to corruption each year.  A loss of 100’s of billions of dollars.

We cannot fool ourselves.  Corruption has and will always exist.  We must do all we can to prevent it.  Information technology has expanded our options.

Information technology provides a major weapon in the fight against corruption.  It is not new, but it is new to government procurement.  It has been used by others with tremendous success.  For example, if I try to use my credit card downstairs at the book store.  Denied.  Why?  Not because of lack of funds but because it triggers an unusual pattern of behavior alert.  It raises a red flag that further investigation is necessary.

The Public Procurement Review Software (goPRS[1]) will do this for public procurement as well. goPRS is a suite of software packages that enable centralized regulatory authorities to oversee and monitor procurement solicitations and contract awards carried out by decentralized ministries, departments, and agencies to ensure that government expenditures are within approved budget limits, as planned and in accordance with the due process requirements of law. Through the early detection irregularities and suspicious patterns or behaviors, goPRS assists regulatory bodies in the prevention and detection of public procurement corruption. As a real-time data based system, goPRS allow countries to make sense of seemingly random data.  It provides greater accountability.  It sends the message that someone is watching.

Its Intelligence package is an evidence-based tool that collects and analyzes data on patterns of offenses related to a public procurement process to provide solid and actionable evidence of possible corruption and its nature.  It is designed to gather and analyze historic data to determine what led to fraud, waste and abuse.  What were the early warning signs?  Could we have stopped it earlier?  Could we have stopped it before the contract was awarded?  Did we have to wait until the contract had failed, the money is gone, the vendor has disappeared, and the citizens are denied the benefits of the project intended for them?

In 10 years we will be amazed how we ever thought we could curb corruption without information technology.  But we will remember that it started with goPRS and in Africa!



[1] See http://goprs.unodc.org/goprs/en/goprs-suite.html