Henry Asante, Vice President of Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG), has attributed corruption in Ghana to the prevalent extended family system.
He argues that unlike developed countries such as the United States, where the focus is on the nuclear family and the government takes responsibility for citizen welfare, Ghana places significant emphasis on the extended family, which is often responsible for the welfare of its members.
“In the USA, the state sponsors education, and thus individuals owe allegiance to the state rather than the family. The structures in place ensure that even before you complete your education, you are recruited,” Asante explained in an interview on Nkwantannanso with George Adjei on July 13.
He further highlighted that in Ghana, securing employment becomes challenging without connections to influential relatives, including the extended family.
“In Ghana, if you don’t have an uncle in a high position, you won’t get a job. Hence, people without the requisite skills and qualifications are sometimes employed. Even if they have the right qualifications and skills, it leads to a conflict of interest,” he stated.
As an example, he recounted an incident where a friend who performed poorly in their final exams managed to secure a job at Ghana Airways, leading to his astonishment.
Asante believes such instances contribute to the collapse of institutions like Ghana Airways.
He also blamed the situation on structural deficiencies.
“There must be a watchdog. For instance, in the United States, the police have cameras attached to their uniforms, and that is used to monitor them. They cannot, therefore, engage in corrupt practices.”
Story by Adwoa S. Danso