Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Cameroon and New York

Catholic News Service reports on the efforts of Catholic schools to end corruption in the African nation of Cameroon:
Catholic schools in Cameroon, a country known for widespread corruption, are piloting a program to teach students to identify and act against dishonesty in their schools and the rest of society.

"The natural place for the fight against corruption is in the schools," said Sister Josephine Julie Ntsama, principal of the College de la Retraite, a Catholic secondary school in Yaounde, Cameroon's capital.

But the pilot program, Fighting Against Corruption Through Schools, or FACTS, also targets parents. Most civil servants in Cameroon, including teachers, earn low salaries and rely on bribes to feed their families.
. . .
Transparency International, an international nongovernmental organization that specializes in reporting on corruption, consistently ranks Cameroon among the most corrupt nations in the world. It says corruption pervades all sectors of society: Government officials take bribes from business interests; police ask for money from motorists; teachers expect money or even sex from students looking for better grades.

Maybe we are getting cynical in our old age, but imagine if they hired lobbyists to act as intermediaries when they give the money to government officials. Then they could change the name from “Cameroon” to “the New York State Legislature” (or “Congress”) and it would all be legal.

The entire article is here.