The Role of Youth in Anti-Corruption

This week’s  Economic Reform Feature Service articles highlight the final two winning essays from CIPE’s 2011 International Youth Essay Competition. Riska Mirzalina and Ruth Nyambura, the second and third place winners respectively in the Corruption category, discuss how youth in their countries can engage in anti-corruption movements and advocacy to change the status quo.

In Riska Mirzalina’s “The Cost of Corruptions: A Tale from Indonesia” she points out that:

  • While Indonesia is a land of abundant resources, corruption prevents the country as a whole from benefiting from them.
  • The change from a centralized government to a decentralized government has not had the desired affect and has actually provided more opportunities and alternate paths for people to participate in corruption.
  •  Entrepreneurs, businesses, and associations must unify in their effort against corruption and bribery. The cost of not doing so is increased poverty, human suffering, and underdevelopment.

In Ruth Nyambura’s “Generation Now,” she talks about how:

  • A large percentage of Kenya’s GDP is used to repay foreign aid. Much of the foreign aid is lost or misappropriated due to corruption.
  • “Kitu kidogo” is a Kiswahili euphemism for a bribe. Bribes are pervasive in all facets of Kenyan life. As a result many entrepreneurs are choosing to leave the country, which has a negative effect on Kenyan society as a whole.
  •  The new generation will bear the brunt of corruption. Therefore the youth should refuse any form of corrupt practices including cronyism, nepotism and tribalism. By utilizing technology and adopting social media platforms the youth can fight corruption.

Thank you for everyone who participated in the 2011 competition! We recently closed the 2012 CIPE Youth Essay Competition, and look forward to reading them and announcing the winners in spring of 2013!