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Skidmore College

Publication Date

Spring 2011

Program Name

Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology


The World Bank defines corruption as “the abuse of public power for private benefit.” The definition of corruption can have many permutations, however, and acts of corruption are rarely recorded, thus it is difficult to quantify the level of graft in a town, city, or nation. In response to this problem, non-governmental agencies like Transparency International proposed using questionnaire-based surveys to measure public perceptions of corruption. This particular study focuses on trying to measure perceptions of corruption in Arusha, Tanzania. Arusha is a major metropolitan area in Tanzania, located in the northeastern part of the nation. Using Arushans as the sample population, this study describes how a non-representative sample of Tanzanians perceives and is affected by corruption in their country. Tanzanians gave insights on what corruption is, where it comes from, if it will continue, and described any personal experience they may have had with corruption. The results give a unique point of view on how Tanzania’s Corruption Perception Index rating of 3.2 translates to public perception of corruption. Data was collected on April 8 to April 28, 2011 via oral interviews, with the help of a Kiswahili translator. The sample population was a randomly chosen sample of all buyers within the Central Market during the time of my study. Once this data was collected, I analyzed it using descriptive statistics and used the findings to create a picture of my samples’ perceptions of corruption in Tanzania. In total, 84.4% of my sample population of 180 short-interviews in Arusha, Tanzania responded that corruption exists in Tanzania. Of this 84.4%, 96.2% said that corruption impedes economic growth in Tanzania, and 72% admitted to having a personal experience with corruption. In addition, 54.4% of the total sample population thought that corruption would either continue or emerge in Tanzania in the future. The results indicate that corruption is rampant throughout Tanzania and affects the nation on multiple levels. Yet, the future of corruption in Tanzania remains in question and unfortunately, taming the lion and putting an end to corruption will not be an easy task.


Civic and Community Engagement | Inequality and Stratification | Infrastructure | Other Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Public Affairs


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