Afra Raymond is an anti-corruption activist from Trinidad and Tobago.
The Caribbean country amassed huge wealth in the 1970s thanks to oil production, he says. But that brought rampant graft — two out of every three dollars earmarked for development has been wasted or stolen, he says.
Raymond doesn’t back down in calling publicly for reform.
That was clear when he spoke for 18 minutes at a Ted event earlier this year in Port-of-Spain, the capital of Trinidad and Tobago.
Afra Raymond’s website is here.
Amazingly well presented.
Just confirms the percentage of corruption we are facing worldwide, with Trinidad & Tobago being at the top end at 66% of GDP lost to it. My estimate of worldwide impact is no less than 25%, equivalent to around US$ 20 – 25 trillion per annum. It mostly ends up in off shore banking centres.
Public corruption has been demystified appropriately by Mr. Raymond. Although we knew of its presence all along, our tacit sanctioning was perhaps with a hope that the practice will cease, or evaporate, or the loot will be used for the public good, somewhere else. Irresponsibility by public officials is acknowledged in Nigeria, as Achebe says in The Trouble with Nigeria (1983), “60 percent of the wealth of this nation is regularly consumed by corruption” (p. 40). Similarly Afra confirms that two of every three dollars of public funds are either stolen or wasted here. One billion dollars was stolen from a 1.6 billion dollar project at Piarco, Trinidad. We are outraged, horrified and determined to reverse the complacency about it. The unprecedented 24 billion TT bailout of a private company with taxpayers funds that is defended by a democratic government against those whose funds are being stolen, is a tyrannical outrage. George Ayittey’s Africa Unchained, (2005) logs the 21st C equivalents there. Duke sang, “How many more must die?” and he passed on. Will we blindly bequeath this brazen barbarity to our children?
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