U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.

Query

What is the present corruption situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo? Please provide an overview of recent evolution in national anti-corruption measures and structures.

Note

This answer is also available in French. A 2014 update of this answer is available here.

Content

1. Overview of corruption in the DRC
2. Anti-corruption efforts in the DRC
3. References

Summary

As the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) emerges from a long period of violence and instability, it struggles with a legacy of entrenched corruption at all levels of society, threatening social and political institutions with failure. Repeated political crises, poor infrastructure, an underdeveloped regulatory environment, lack of institutional capacity and weak rule of law fuel the country’s persistent governance crisis.

Petty and grand forms of corruption, as well as a complex web of political patronage permeate all sectors of the economy, undermining development prospects and compromising the fragile post-conflict equilibrium. Despite being endowed with considerable mineral wealth, extraction of natural resources continues to be combined with widespread corruption, including within the armed forces, fuelling violence, insecurity and public discontent. Corruption in tax and customs administration, as well as in the management of state-run companies, undermines the state’s capacity to collect revenues and escape the trap of mismanagement, conflict and poverty.

Against this backdrop, the country has limited capacity to address the governance and corruption challenges it faces. There is neither indication of firm political will to address corruption, nor evidence of progress made in anti-corruption in the post-conflict era. While a strong legal framework to address corruption has recently been established under the pressure of the international community, it remains largely ineffective to curb corruption. The judiciary is plagued by a lack of resources and capacity, and faces major challenges of independence, political interference and corruption. Other governance institutions are weak or non-existent. The media and civil society operate in a restrictive environment, running a high risk of intimidation, arrest and harassment when denouncing public sector corruption.

Authors

Marie Chêne, Transparency International, mchene@transparency.org

Date

08/10/2010

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