The Problem of Corruption in Egypt

Authors Avatar by khattablivecom (student)


What is Corruption?

  • Although there are several conventions dealing with corruption and bribery, there is no single globally accepted definition of corruption and bribery.

  • Corruption is defined by Transparency International, the leading international organization in fighting corruption, as 'the abuse of entrusted power for personal gain.'

  • Corruption can also be differentiated in terms of what can be called 'true corrupt intent' and 'necessary corruption', which occurs in order to get things done. Corruption in terms of true corrupt intent implies bribery in order to obtain a service to which one is not legally entitled. In contrast, necessary corruption implies bribery in order to obtain a service to which one is legally entitled. Facilitation payments would fall under this latter category of corruption.

  • The main forms of corruption are  and , nepotism
  1. Bribery : To offer an  advantage, whether directly or through intermediaries, to a public official, in order that the official act or refrain from acting in relation to the performance of official duties, in order to obtain or retain business or other improper advantage

  1. Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of money or property by a person entrusted to safeguard the assets in another's interests. Embezzlement can be committed by a person entrusted with private or public resources.

  1. Extortion is the unlawful use of one's position or office to obtain money through threats. One example would be when customs officials request undue 'customs duties' from importers as a condition to clear their goods.

  1. Fraud:  It involves the use of deception, trickery and breach of confidence to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.

  1. Nepotism is a form of favoritism shown to family members without regard to merit

  • Egypt’s high level of youth unemployment is exacerbated by the nepotism of employers. Vacancies are commonly filled by those with connections to power and privilege, often at the expense of more qualified but less well-connected individuals.
  • Petty corruption will remain a problem so long as Egypt does not have a minimum wage. Existing salaries tend to be very low, leading many individuals to solicit bribes as a way of keeping financially afloat. 

Corruption in Egypt

  • Egypt ranked 114th out of 177 in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2013, conducted by the global coalition against corruption Transparency International, which surveys the corruption levels of countries worldwide. Egypt’s rank in the 2012 report was 118, out of the 174 countries surveyed. The country received a 112, out of 182, in 2011 and 98, out of 178, in 2010.
  • Egypt’s score saw no change from 2012. The study rates a country’s perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0-100, where 0 signifies high corruption and 100 represents a very clean system, with Egypt scoring a 32.

  • We have to look at the different sources of corruption and sites, amongst others, government interference in the economy, manipulation of subsidies, a lack of proper government accounting systems, and widespread nepotism. Some of the causes that fuels corruption in Egypt are the poor wages of public officials, which makes them more exposed to accepting bribes, especially amongst tax officials. Nepotism and favoritism are also described as widely accepted phenomena, where employment in public entities is often family or relative-based.

  • Prior to the revolution observers agreed that corruption in Egypt was high and anti-corruption measures were absent which served changes serving Mubarak's political agenda. However, the Morsi Administration has taken up the challenge of corruption and passed several laws to fight the phenomena.  2012 Constitution tried to guarantee more transparency in the government than the previous one. Amongst others, the Constitution gives the public's right to information, data, documents and statistics, and imposes annual financial disclosure on members of Parliament. The Constitution also establishes an Anti-Corruption Commission designed to deal with conflict of interest, standards of integrity and transparency in government.
Join now!

Levels and sectors of corruptions

  • Levels of corruption in the different sectors indicate where corruption can be encountered. The levels are defined as follows:
  1. Individual Corruption: Corruption that takes place primarily in relations between individual citizens and public officials and authorities.
  2. Business Corruption: Corruption that takes place primarily in relations between enterprises/companies and public officials and authorities.
  3. Political Corruption: Corruption that takes place in the higher echelons of public administration and on a political level.

Judicial System

  • The judicial system usually functions well, although bribery, favoritism and informal relationships affect the implementation of court decisions

This is a preview of the whole essay