Our vision is to be the leading information, development and empowerment Centre that inculcates Pan-Afrikan values on the Afrikan continent and the diaspora.
I would like to thank the organizers, Global Agricultural Politics and Policy from an Afrikan Perspective (G.A.P.P.A.P.), in particular Dr Ikechi Agbugba for arranging a powerful panel to discuss this pertinent topic that grips our society.

We gather here today to discuss Nepotism in Afrika however that does not mean that Nepotism is only in Afrika or that it is worse in Afrika than in any other part of the world.
Nepotism, like other forms of corruption, flourishes in any political regime. Corruption is the major negative factor in any country, whether we speak about economic growth, legitimacy of the government, or the overall security of people.

In the US, the Federal Anti-Nepotism Law restricts public officials (including the President and Members of Congress) in all three branches of the federal government from appointing, or promoting a relative or even advocating such actions. Yet that did not deter the executives of Enron to commit the biggest corporate corruption in history; or Theranos to deceive and manipulate powerful political connected individuals to commit fraud.

Big companies around the world such as Samsung in South Korea, and VW in Germany are all tainted by corruption scandals. Samsung with nepotism and VW with the Dieselgate scandal. These are cases outside of Afrika.

As Afrikans, we should guard our peace and security, and should not engage in media campaigns that aims at tarnishing the image of our Motherland
As a proponent of good governance, I support freedom of speech, however we should be cautious of not using our freedom of speech to prosecute others. I mean people should not be found guilty by the media, or public opinion, but on the merits of cases before the courts of law. My learned fellow panelists would agree with me that it is crucial for the justice system to be allowed to do its work without undue influence.

So the rule of law being at work, where a person is innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law is of utmost importance to ensure security, stability and prosperity of Afrika.

The Bible says: “You my friends are called to be free but do not use your freedom to indulge in sin.” Therefore, we are all called to conduct ourselves with integrity, and to use whatever position of power and trust assigned to us to serve diligently for the good of all.

We should therefore respect that where our rights ends with airing our views and opinions on matters; there begins the rights of another to be treated fair and in a just manner.

Hence, we are not here to blame or misuse the freedom of speech that is granted to us on this platform to paint Afrika in the negative way, not at all. We are here to discuss, share views, and educate the public on how we can eliminate this evil force in order to build the Afrika we aspire. We can do this by ensuring that our processes of conducting business and political activities is done in a fair, just, and transparent manner.

As Afrikans, we should guard our peace and security, and should not engage in media campaigns that aims at tarnishing the image of our Motherland. It is our duty and responsibility to defend Afrika, and market Afrika as a progressive continent, where her people are working hard to build a home that continues to be robbed of its valuable mineral and natural resources through neocolonialism.

What is Nepotism?
Nepotism is the act of abusing one’s power or official position to offer jobs, promotions, more favourable working conditions, or other economic gains to family members while disregarding their knowledge, abilities, skills, educational level, and experience.

According to Cambridge Dictionary Nepotism is the act of using your power or influence to get good jobs or unfair advantages for members of your own family.
The term nepotism, derived from the Latin word Nepos meaning “nephew”, is defined by Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (Merriam Webster, 2000) as the appointment of nephews or other kin to duties based on relationships rather than qualifications.

Nepotism like its cousins: tribalism, favouritism, cronyism creates a breeding ground for corruption. Corruption manifests itself in both private businesses and public sector organizations as well as in political organizations and public administrations through different forms, such as abuse of power bribery, embezzlement, influence peddling, and nepotism.

The Effects of Nepotism
Nepotism undermines the principles of the legitimacy of the government and public representation, and causes serious economic damage to society through inefficient use of the material and financial resources of the state. It damages civil society by encouraging mistrust in public authorities thereby entrenching chronic suspicion.

Nepotism causes the misappropriation of public resources, and reduces the efficiency of the public sector, causing a threat to public trust. It weakens the foundations of state security and defense, and reduces the resilience of society to modern threats.

It widens the inequality gap and exacerbates poverty as well as contributes to the increase of crime rate. Nepotism creates inconsistency in the application of standards, policies, rules, and evaluation processes such as performance appraisal, and this generally negates appropriate checks and balances related to workplace practices.

It impacts the employees’ productivity, job satisfaction, morale, motivation, harmony and retention with the organization. Nepotism erodes organizational activities and processes such as goal setting, leadership, and building of team spirit.

It affects organizational commitment, loyalty and trust, and the performance of the public service. Organizations can suffer legal ramification as a result of some cases of nepotism. Nepotism violates the standards of professional ethics in institutions, increasing psychological tension and mistrust in management and causing conflict situations within the organization. Nepotism is slowing the down the development of Africa.

Leaders should actually endeavour to govern with integrity for the good of all
Yes, nepotism is here. According to Transparency International, Mobuto Sese Seko (Joseph-Desire Mobutu; 14 October 1930 – 7 September 1997) embezzled over U$5 billion from DRC, ranking him as the third-most corrupt leader since 1984 and the most corrupt Afrikan leader, who awarded his close relatives and fellow members of the Ngbandi tribe with high positions in the military and government. He sold the nation’s rich natural resources while the people live in poverty, and he groomed his eldest son to succeed him as president, but fate had it differently.

We read about the expose by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on the decades long nepotism practices by the former Angolan President Dos Santos favouring his daughter which earned her the title of the most richest woman in Afrika with a wealth of over U$3 billion; the imprisonment of his son for diverting oil revenues from Angola’s sovereign wealth fund; and how the current President of Angola, Joao Lourenco is trying to rebuild trust of the nation, and to ensure that government resources are rightful returned, and used to develop the country for the benefit of all citizens.

That is commendable, and leaders should actually endeavour to govern with integrity for the good of all, and enjoy their retirement from the higher office with honour so they can live in the comfort of their own countries.

Is Nepotism a Crime?
Yes, I would say nepotism is a crime against humanity. It robs people of equal opportunities to advance in life and undermines the legitimate interests of individuals. Nepotism robs nations of valuable resources to develop their economy. It compromises the rule of law, cause citizens to lose faith in the values of democracy and in government institutions. Nepotism reduces the attractiveness of the state to attract investors. It decimates the credibility of the state in order to ensure peace, prosperity, security and stability for its citizens.

The AU has corruption high on its agenda, and thus member states are expected to conduct their affairs in an ethical, fair, just and transparent manner.
How is it possible for a foreign bank outside Afrika to be so welcoming in permitting a non-citizen, and a non-resident for that matter to open a bank account with billions of dollars without questioning the source of the funds?

But then again Dick, as I was saying your cousins at the Swiss Banks should be prosecuted for their role in promoting nepotism and corruption in Afrika.
Because you ask yourself how is it possible for a foreign bank outside Afrika to be so welcoming in permitting a non-citizen, and a non-resident for that matter to open a bank account with billions of dollars without questioning the source of the funds? Like in the case of Mobutu, it is said he embezzled over U$5 billion from DRC, but only a few millions were found in that Swiss account. Where is the rest of the money?

Possible Solutions to Stop Nepotism
To avoid nepotism and corruption, leaders should not overstay their welcome. The constitution must be respected as the Supreme Law that protects all citizens. Trust is a fundamental pillar and most constructive factor to mutual relationship as it puts an end to chronic suspicion in society.

We should not justify nepotism as an act of human nature – that as long as the selected individual fulfils the qualification, we consider nepotism an acceptable act. Justifications for nepotism can influence how a country perceives it. The arrangement of strategic networking by corrupt governments to protect their status; and the exploitation of national resources and wealth for personal gain thru introducing policies that favour personal interests by those in power must be condemn.

Our governments should be of laws rather than of men
Our governments should be of laws rather than of men which requires a change in attitudes and a system of values in society. Sanctions must be introduced for individuals, companies and organizations, but also for public administrations and international institutions to deter others from commit corruption.Good governance, institutional reforms and the requirement of greater transparency and accountability must be viewed as service to humanity which is the best work of life.

It is therefore in the public interest that professionals working in the public sector act professionally and provide top quality public services that are equally accessible, so that all decisions are taken impartially, objectively, and in good faith as required by the public interest.Engaging in educational and awareness initiatives that aim at strengthening the anti-corruption agencies and promote a free society. Strengthen civil society through participation in the decision-making processes.

Enforced regulations to facilitate the economic growth, development, and sustainability of a nation. Accountability of governments must be closely monitored in order to facilitate movement towards efficient economic and human development. Transparent and viable accounting measures should be adopted and implemented in order to maximize a country’s financial and economical potential.

Our roles to stop Nepotism must be over-emphasised
Most importantly, we should realize that earth’s great treasure lies in human personality. We should therefore desire to cultivate and adapt personalities that are impeccable and unequivocal in order to serve for the good of all. And keeping in mind that service to humanity is the best work of life.

Afrika is resilient, tenacity and has the will power to develop strong and vibrant institutions that can fulfil the aspiration of Afrikans here on the Continent and in the Diaspora. It has great developmental plans, we simply need to rededicate our efforts to fight and stop nepotism and all its ..ism cousins in order to realize the aspiration of all Afrikans and the generations yet unborn.

As Lucky Dube sings: “Blessed is the Hand that giveth, than the one that taketh. What kind of a rich man are you, who does not care about poor people. Does it make you feeling happy when you see another man starving? Does it make it you feel happy when you see another man with no food? Does it make you feel great, maybe? To see another man without a thing.” Our roles to stop Nepotism must be over-emphasised.

God is Love. Let Love Lead. One Afrika, One Heart.

I thank you!