Walter Williams blames sub-Sahara Africa’s poverty on a lack of personal freedom (here) but I know better. Sub-Sahara Africa runs on bribes. I’ve been to Africa many times. Dealt with African businesses, Kings, Princes and taxi drivers. They would refuse to give you change or a ride in their taxi unless you tell them something like: “I’ll dash you $5 if you take me to the hotel”.

Millions of Africans live lower than the poverty line. Without bribes many Africans would starve. Williams called Africa “A Tragic Continent”. That’s true. He relies on several studies which prove African’s have very poor economic abilities but they know how to count and how to get money. That’s basic economics. In Africa it’s bribes that prove the corrupt nature of the various cultures. William’s get’s that part right but he’s in the dark about the corruption that undergirds a really great continent.

Lots of places and cultures run on bribes but African’s are so used to bribes for everything that it should be counted in the cost of living. Williams is right that Africa is tragic but it doesn’t have to be that way. The bribes can be stopped but before that can begin someone must take an interest and punish bribery. Only then can Africa be put on the fast-track to gain freedom.

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