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Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae

versión On-line ISSN 2412-4265
versión impresa ISSN 1017-0499


IGBOIN, Benson O.. Traditional leadership and corruption in pre-colonial Africa: how the past affects the present. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2016, vol.42, n.3, pp.142-160. ISSN 2412-4265.

There are two popular schools of thought about corruption in pre-colonial Africa -the Afrocentric view and that of decolonisation. The latter argues that there were corrupt practices broadly defined in pre-colonial Africa, since corruption is a universal concept. It further argues that many traditional African leaders were and are still corrupt, independent of colonial influence. Therefore, they could not be insulated from corruption. The Afrocentric school argues that pre-colonial African leaders were responsible and responsive to their subjects and avoided corruption as much as possible. It maintains that traditional African leaders in the pre-colonial period could hardly be said to be corrupt, because of the communal spirit that guided their operation. This paper critically examines both views and posits that corrupt practices as a human rights violation were present in pre-colonial Africa and still resonate in post-colonial Africa.

Palabras clave : Corruption; pre-colonial Africa; post-colonial Africa; Afrocentric; decolonialisation; traditional leadership.

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