By Jeff Pizzino, APR, Corporate Communication –
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told African leaders they must do more to fight corruption in their countries if they want more trade with America. This was the clear message given by Biden at a recent summit in Washington. The goal of the summit was to establish better business relationships between African nations and the U.S.
China Leads the Way
These types of meetings with Africa are nothing new. China has hosted several in previous years and many credit these meetings as a reason the Asian country remains the foremost trading partner with African nations.
To improve trade relations, China also invested billions in the infrastructure within several African countries. American officials hope to achieve this same kind of relationship through this summit, the largest of its kind to date that ever held in the U.S.
Corruption Creates Hesitancy
American companies avoid making investments in African largely due to the corruption at the heart of so many African governments — seeing such corruption as a major stumbling block in trade negotiations. The U.S. government wants to see that change, reissuing calls made by Western countries for years.
Transparency International, a global watchdog organization dedicated to ending corruption, rates every country in Africa as either moderately or highly afflicted with corruption in official departments. This causes consternation both for companies wishing to invest in Africa and also for countries in which Africa wants to make an investment.
Trading in Corruption for Foreign Investment
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry also dove into the debate, reiterating the need for Africa to deal with the issue of corruption if they want to attract more foreign investment. He argued that by being more transparent in business dealings, African countries are more likely to find companies that are willing to make investments. This transparency would also lead to greater competition in the country, benefitting them even further.
The clear message from U.S. officials: if Africa does not take steps to deal with the corruption, it will miss out on valuable business opportunities with the Western world.
As a tool to help curb corrupt activities, EyeDetect™ offers the governments of Africa a lie detection technology to hold government and corporate employees accountable. By using EyeDetect to screen employees for illicit activities, African nations could send the message that they will no longer tolerate rampant corruption.