Religiosity, Institutions and Corruption in Africa

Abdulkareem ALHASSAN, Walter Okwudili UGWUOKE


The simultaneous increase in religiosity and corruption in Africa is a paradox that is being investigated. Therefore, using the Sub-Saharan Africa Religion Survey and transparency international report datasets, this study employed multiple regressions analysis to investigate the impact of religiosity and other institutions on corruption in Africa. The study shows that all institutions have significant impact on the level of corruption in Africa.   But, Religiosity increases the level of corruption when there are no strong political and economic institutions in place. Also, in democratic environment where political and economic institutions are weak religion serves as impetus to corruption. Thus, to reduce corruption, the laws of the religions need to be incorporated in the constitutions of the countries and strictly enforced. Equally, in good institutional environment, religiosity reduces the level of corruption. Meaning, the level of corruption is concurrently high with the level religiosity in Africa due to weak institutions. We therefore, recommend that the laws of the religions should be incorporated in the mainstream of the conventional legal system in Africa. Otherwise, the wide spread of religion in the continent will continue to increase the level of corruption which in turn hinders socio-economic development in the continent.

Keywords: Africa, Institutions, Religion, corruption

JEL codes: O55, D02, Z12 D73

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