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Corruption, Democracy and Human Rights in East and Central Africa

Edited by Ayodele Aderinwale, Published by A*ica Leadership Forum, P.O. Box 2286, Abeahuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. 1995.

This bock is a compilation of contributions made at a seminar in Entebbe, Uganda, in December 1994. Organised by the Africa Leadership Forum in collaboration with Transparency International, the seminar was sponsored by the European Commission. It brought together African personalitim with democratic credentials. These included two former military Heads of State who handed over power to democratically elected governments: General Olusegun Obasanjo (a founder of the Africa Leadership Forum, who was arrested by the Nigerian military regime for alleged involvement in a coup plot on his return from the conference) and Pierre Buyoya of Burundi. Other participants included human rights campaigners such as Raila Odinga and Gitobu Imanyara of Kenya.

Despite the book's title, which suggests a regional focus, it is in fact about corruption, democracy and human rights in Africa as a whole. The book analyses the problems, demonstrating that they are inter linked; each feeding on the other in a vicious circle of greed within leadership groups while grinding poverty persists among the general population. Corrupt leadership induces the collapse of institutions designed to contain corruption. Lack of democracy and transparency mean that corruption thrives. And the determination of leaders to remain in power in order to grab more of the nation's wealth leads to violations of human rights. Poverty drives those 'on the marains' who are offered no 'example' from the leadership, to 'engage in petty corruption simply to survive.' The level of personal standards of honesty is thus lowered considerably everywhere.

The book highlights the role of industrialised countries in promoting corruption is Africa. Governments in the developed world turn a blind eye both to companies which bribe officials and military officers in order to win business on the continent, and to African leaders who salt away their ill-gotten gains in European and North American banks.

The seminar proposes a number solutions. These include civic education - at family, school, community and national levels, and the need for the media to be strengthened not only in their civic education role but also in exposing corruption in high places. It also stresses the promotion of democracy, transparency and respect for human rights, and the need for a vigorous international campaign against corruption, especially at the level of the OAU. A.O.

Publication received

La dcalisation offshore (Locating offshore)

By Raymond-Marin Lemesle. Editions Presses universitaires de France. 'Que sais-je?' collection. (108, boulevard Saint-Germain, F-75006 Paris). 1995. 128 p. ISBN 2- 13447136-6.

The author, who is a doctor in the sociology of organisations, sets out to analyse the phenomenon of locating offshore which is an increasingly popular industrial strategy. He highlights the factors which make it worthwhile, the forms which it takes in the host country, the sectors affected and the negative results which it can have. He concludes that the adverse effects of offshore location could be tackled 'if stops towards the implementation of a global social system... were to be implemented'.

Le Livre noir de l'Alge (The Blark Bock on A' geria)

Documents collected by 'Reporters sans frontis (5, rue Geoffoy-Marie, F-75009 Paris), with the financial support of the European Commission. Preface by Marie-Claire MendFrance. 1995. 224pp. 80 FF. ISBN 2-908830-19-1.

RSF (Reporters without fontiers) is an independent organisation which defends journalists who have been imprisoned, and press freedom, throughout the world. In this work, they have brought together texts relating to the situation in Algeria which have been published in their own annual reports (1993-1995) alongside reports produced by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the US State Department. What emerges is a picture of increasing violence by armed groups in Algeria - violence which indiscriminately affects civilians including women and children.

Blue Papers of the United Nations

Published by the information Department of the United Nations Organisation, 2 UN Plaza, Room DC2-853 New York M Y. 10017

Seven volumes are available in this series (in English and French). The purpose is to offer research instruments and esential reference documents to those who seek a better understanding of the workings of the UN :

1. The United Nations and Apartheid 1948-1994

This retraces the international campaign against apartheid in South Africa, bringing together key UN documents, relevant international legal instruments and the texts of historical declarations by personalities such as President Mandela and Oliver Tambo.

2. The United Nations and Cambodia, 1991-1995

3. The United Nations and Nuclear Non-Prolfferation

4. The United Nations and El Salvador 1990-1995

5. The United Nations and Mozambique, 1992-1995.

The story of one of the UN's most complex operations which laid the foundations for a peaceful future in Mozambique. The publication contains key documents including, for example, the text of the Peace Agreement signed in Rome in 1992.

6. The United Nations and the Promotion of Women 19481995

7. The United Nations and Human Rights, 1945-1995