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Addressing state capture and corruption in transition economies: Insights from Professor Daniel Kaufmann

February 1, 2024
Addressing state capture and corruption in transition economies: Insights from Professor Daniel Kaufmann
Professor Daniel Kaufmann

Professor Daniel Kaufmann, Senior Fellow at Results for Development (R4D) and President Emeritus at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), emphasized the need to confront challenges related to state capture in transition economies. State capture refers to the efforts of firms to shape state laws, policies, and regulations for their own advantage, often involving providing illicit private gains to public officials.

During a roundtable event in on the theme “New Frontier in Governance: State Capture and , Implications for Ghana and Africa,” Prof Kaufmann discussed the importance of addressing state capture challenges. The event was organized by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) in collaboration with various institutions, including the Business School, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), IMANI, and the Africa Centre for Energy Policy.

Prof Kaufmann highlighted that state capture occurs when influential economic and political actors shape the rules of the game, such as laws, regulations, and key institutions, to their advantage. He emphasized the need to focus not only on public servants but also on the powerful private entities, referred to as ‘captors,' who collaborate with high-level politicians in influencing or shaping laws and regulatory regimes.

The governance expert called for innovative approaches in the fight against corruption, emphasizing that traditional methods alone are insufficient. He stressed the importance of addressing impunity and strengthening the rule of law to combat corruption effectively. Prof Kaufmann also underscored the significance of preventing state capture and taking prompt action to avert its negative consequences.

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