Publication Date

Spring 2016

Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

Tasushi Aria

Abstract

Writers like Mutasa (2009) and Ebegbulem (2012) argues that Africa is both the poorest continent in the world and one of the richest in terms of natural resources. Consistent with this observation the history of Liberia indicates that corrupt leadership deprives the general population of its fair access to Africa’s rich resources while exacerbating ineffective government bureaucracy and underdevelopment. The bureaucratized central government in turn entrenches corrupt practices which give rise to more serious underdevelopment as well as insurgencies and a possible state failure.

Given this background, this study examines how leadership and corruption in governance affects socioeconomic development. To this end it explores the effect of leadership and corruption on development in Liberia. It also identifies possible ways to curb corruption in public office. Relevant review of literature in the field of Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation along with extensive research into the history of governance in Liberia to develop inclusive appreciation of key elements that hinder development and growth in Africa. This paper employs qualitative analysis of literature to clarify the complexities of the effect of corruption and leadership in development. The United States Agency for International Development Governance and Economic Management Assistance Program (GEMAP) in Liberia is used to develop an understanding of key elements that hinder development and growth. It is hoped that this study will enable program developers and advocates to better understand some of the reasons for the sustained underdevelopment in Africa. It is also hoped that the recommendations will aid decision-makers and legislators in their effort to create more effective development policies and ensure state stability.

Disciplines

African Studies | Economic Policy | Peace and Conflict Studies | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Political Science | Public Administration