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They’re all in it together: the social production of fraud in capitalist Africa

Author: Jörg Wiegratz

Affiliation: University of Leeds

Organization/Publisher: Review of African Political Economy

Date/Place: 2019, U.K.

Type of Literature: Journal Article 

Number of Pages: 13


Keywords:  Neo-Liberalism, Fraud, Economic Crime, Capitalism, Corporate Power


The article’s central theme  is that neoliberal economic reform in Africa creates a system that enables fraud and economic crime. The author asserts it has become public knowledge that the capitalist corporation not only exploits and abuses its workers, but also harms the environment and other public properties,  breaking the law and reproducing fraud in a capitalist society. The article proposes that deeper scrutiny of fraud, its causes and characteristics, and societal repercussions is crucial as it routinely affects the production, finance, trade, social services, and entertainment that negatively impacts lives at all ages. It argues that fraud has become  a  power phenomena under capitalism, enabled by neoliberal reform. The article nexuses capitalism and crime in Africa by locating capitalism at the center of the economic crime analysis as more African countries move from being societies with capitalism to capitalist societies. Throughout its history, Capitalism has had criminal characteristics anchored in systematic production of political economic cultures that promote felonious economic activities, with corporate crime essentially connected to corporate power. The neo liberal reforms in Africa resulted in economic crimes that include: integration of African countries into a criminal global economy, close relationship between the state and the criminal economy and legal economy, and intense merging of licit and illicit activities, politics, organized crime and legitimate business, where the state facilitates crimes. He concludes that the study of fraud in Africa gives insights about the intrinsic relationship between many analytical categories such as imperialism, corporate trade, state, markets, class, ethnicity, gender, and regulation.

By: Jemal Muhamed, CIGA Research Associate



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