There is no lack of measures, norms, standards or ‘best practices’ to address corruption. Although development practitioners often repeat the mantra of ‘no one size fits all’, guidance on what pace of progress to expect and what to do, given the initial conditions in a country, has yet to be developed. Information and data analytics for assessing integrity problems in customs and monitoring progress of anti-corruption reforms are generally weak. It is therefore not surprising that the record to date has been full of disappointments. We argue that handling corruption in customs requires reformers to address discrepancies between formal rules and entrenched informal practices that often determine the behavior of customs officers. Anti-corruption efforts require an understanding of the norms and incentives of key players, and should therefore be based on a thorough analysis of the customs administration and the environment of which it is a part. Local ownership is essential for the sustainability of the reforms, and it is important to offer political backing to reformers. Quick wins in the form of revenue growth are crucial to establish credibility and trust in the reform process. However, sustainable change demands sustained effort, commitment and leadership over time.
Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for revenue generation in poor African countries
Odd-Helge Fjeldstad and Ole Therkildsen
Did British rule in Africa foster a legacy of corruption among local elites?
Merima Ali, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad and Abdulaziz Shifa
The non-oil tax reform in Angola: Escaping from petroleum dependency?
Odd-Helge Fjeldstad, Aslak Orre and Francisco Paulo
The Extractive Industries and Society