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Combating corruption in Botswana: lessons for policy makers

David Seth Jones (Policy and Management Consultant, UK)

Asian Education and Development Studies

ISSN: 2046-3162

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the success and challenges of the government of Botswana in combating corruption, and the lessons that policy makers may draw from this experience.

Design/methodology/approach

A range of sources are used including on-line materials from Botswana Government websites, DCEC annual reports, reports and on-line materials of international organisations, press articles, conference papers, two theses, articles in journals and chapters in edited collections.

Findings

The paper considers the factors that contribute to the success of the Botswana Government in combating corruption. It finds that the role of the anti-corruption body, the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has been crucial in this endeavour, including its investigative and enforcement work, and also its prevention and education programmes. The progress in combating corruption can also be attributed to procurement reform, measures to reduce red tape and bureaucratic procedures affecting businesses, competition regulation to reduce collusion and bribery, political and parliamentary accountability, and not least political will of Botswana’s leaders to stamp out corruption. In addition, challenges facing the anti-corruption programme are considered, including capacity constraints in the DCEC and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, and the failure of the courts in some cases to bring to book those in high places who have allegedly committed corruption offences. The paper identifies a number of lessons that can be drawn from Botswana’s experience. In conclusion, the paper points to the need for political will to be sustained in light of evidence that it may have recently weakened.

Practical implications

The paper provides lessons for policy makers in tackling corruption.

Originality/value

The paper is a further contribution to the existing scholarly literature on the anti-corruption programme in Botswana.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author acknowledges the helpful and constructive feedback from the two reviewers of this article, Professor Gerard Caiden, and Professor David Sebudubudu and the help and information provided by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime in Botswana.

Citation

Jones, D.S. (2017), "Combating corruption in Botswana: lessons for policy makers", Asian Education and Development Studies, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 213-226. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEDS-03-2017-0029

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited