Despite increasing democracy and stability in sub-Saharan Africa, corruption and conflict remain serious barriers to ending extreme poverty on the continent. In addition to the human and psychological toll corruption and conflict take on African populations, they also cost money -- the continent loses around $148 billion each year as a result of corruption alone. The indirect costs of corruption and conflict can be even more devastating. Compared with peaceful countries, sub-Saharan African countries in conflict have, on average, 50% more infant deaths; 15% more undernourished people; 20% more adult illiteracy; and 2.5 fewer doctors per person.
Peaceful countries with leadership accountable to its citizens will have the best chance at winning the fight against extreme poverty and disease. Transparent governments that respect civic participation and the rule of law are necessary to ensure scarce resources are spent well and investments are made in the poorest people.
The responsibility and the greatest ability to improve governance and security lie with Africa's own leaders, but donor countries also have a role to play in promoting and supporting accountability, transparency and stability.
Irresponsible multinational companies are lobbying hard against effective new European laws that would lift the lid on the trillions of dollars they pay to governments across Africa for their natural resources.
The ONE Campaign warmly welcomes a political deal reached this evening on new European rules requiring oil, gas, mining and forestry companies to declare the payments they make to foreign governments.