Today, many African countries address governance with a special focus on public participation. This is a step in the right direction but it does require a change of the mindset for all parties. It is important for African governments and institutions tto engage  with the community and share information on laws and regulations, identify the needs of the communities and demonstrate preparedness to address these needs. The World Bank, the EU as well as other donors to African countries are admittedly concerned with governance and expect to work with institutions and individuals that are relatively free of corruption. The World Bank, the EU and other donors are taking corruption more explicitly in their assistance strategy.

The lack of professionalism in the ways both the executive and legislative branches are influenced/lobbied in Africa certainly accounts for some of the numerous incidents being regularly reported. The difference between lobbying and bribery is that lobbying is a legal form of activity supporting a cause or position while bribery involves the giving of money or other incentives to persuade somebody, in authority, to do something that is dishonest or illegal. Because lobbying can decrease incentives for political corruption, any anti-corruption efforts in Africa as well as in other developing countries should be premised on better knowledge about the practice of lobbying.

Lobbying is a much more effective instrument than corruption for exerting political influence. There should be less weight being placed in fighting corruption and more thinking about new ways to "foster lobbying" in African countries. Institutionalized ways of exerting political influence leads not only with deeper consolidation of the democratic process but also produce tangible economic benefits for the actors that engage in lobbying activities.

As more and more African countries begin their growth towards maturity, we believe the need has arisen for the establishment of a legal framework for the professional lobbying practice as an integral part of a representative system of government as is the case in developed democracies.   

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