ARSO Continental Essay Competition for Africans 2018/2019

ARSO Continental Essay Competition for Africans 2018/2019
ARSO Continental Essay Competition for Africans 2018/2019 | 6th Edition

Apply for the 6th ARSO Continental Essay Competition on Winning the Fight Against Corruption for Sustainable Africa’s Transformation. See Eligibility, Entry Rules and Regulations, Prizes, Application Guidelines and Deadline for 2018/2019 Session.


The Role of Standardisation in winning the fight Against Corruption for sustainable Africa’s Transformation’’ Corruption, Lawal 2007, is now recognized as a global phenomenon, which has to be addressed coherently and consistently and in recent years there have been significant increases in the attention paid to corruption, in part due to (I) series of high level corruption cases in industrialized countries and (2) due to an increasing awareness of the costs of corruption throughout the world and (3) due to the political and economic changes which many countries are undergoing.

The Policy Forum – Document on “Corruption and Development in Africa” GCA/PF/N.2/11/1997, goes into details and highlights the negative effects of corruption, viz: “Corrupt practices span a wide spectrum, ranging from petty corruption whereby bribes are required before normal bureaucratic procedures are accomplished, to large scale corruption whereby considerable sums of money are paid in return for preferential treatment or access.

Corruption occurs in the political, economic and administrative spheres. Corruption is worse in countries where institutions, such as the legislature and the judiciary are weak, where rule of law and adherence to formal rules are not rigorously observed, where political patronage is standard practice, where the independence and professionalism of the public sector has been eroded and where civil society lacks the means to bring public pressure to bear.

Once corruption becomes entrenched, its negative effects multiply. It induces cynicism, because people begin to regard it as the norm. It undermines social values because people find it easier and more lucrative to engage in corruption than to seek legitimate employment. It erodes governmental legitimacy because it hampers the effective delivery of public goods and services. It limits economic growth because it reduces the amount of public resources, discourages private investment and saving and impedes the efcient use of government revenue and development assistance funds”.

Transparency International’s ( defnition of corruption is: “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. This can mean not only fnancial gain but also non-fnancial advantages.

Khan (1996) defnes corruption as an act which deviates from the formal rules of conduct governing the actions of someone in a position of public authority because of private – regarding – motive such as wealth, power or status.

Onigu, 2000, further states that, “Corruption is the perversion of integrity or state of affairs through bribery, favour or moral depravity” … It takes place when at least two parties have interacted to change the structure or processes of society or the behavior of functionaries in order to produce dishonest, unfaithful or defled situations”…in other words – corruption is a systematic vice in an individual, society or a nation which reflects favouritism, nepotism, tribalism, sectionalism, undue enrichment, amassing of wealth, abuse of ofce, power, position and derivation of undue gains and benefts.

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Ojaide Francis, 2000, adds more to the debate on Corruption and brings into perspective the issues of bribery, smuggling, fraud, illegal payments, money laundering, drug trafcking, falsifcation of documents and records, window dressing, false declaration, evasion, underpayment, deceit, forgery, concealment, aiding and abetting of any kind to the detriment of another person, community, society or nation.

Generally scholars (Otite Onigu, 2000) agree that corruption transcends bribery but includes “treasury looting and also the deliberate bending of rules of the system to favour friends or hurt foes and that it is clearly the evidence of absence of accountability, law and order.”

The corruption vice, Grace Kobusingye, 2016, comes along with costs as citizens are compelled to pay for services that should be free; state budgets are pillaged by corrupt politicians; public spending is distorted as decisionmakers focus spending on activities likely to yield large bribes like major public works; foreign investment is blocked as businesses are reluctant to invest in uncertain environments and economies suffer.

She points out that, not only costly in terms of money, it is also costly in terms of public trust and citizens’ willingness to participate in their societies. Corruption often has links to organised crime and fosters, as well as thrives, in conflict and war. Indeed, high levels of corruption can increase the likelihood of a protracted conflict or a post-conflict society sliding back into war. Efforts to tackle climate change can also be undermined by corruption as bribes are paid to ignore environmental protection rules in the pursuit of quick profits.

ABOUT African Organization for Standardization

ARSO is an intergovernmental body, established by the African Union and UNECA in 1977 with the principal mandate to harmonize African Standards and conformity assessment procedures in order to reduce Technical Barriers to Trade and therefore promote intra African and international Trade as well as enhance the industrialization of Africa.

Part of ARSO mandate is to ensure the well-being and safety of the African Community. Thus being an African organization, all the efforts to eradicate poverty and ensure the youth are enlightened and create a culture of quality among the youth is in line with its vision and mission.

ARSO Vision Statement
To be an excellent standardisation center that promotes trade and industry.

ARSO Mission Statement
To facilitate intra-African and global trade through providing harmonised standards and facilitating their implementation.

Apex (Apex Management system-consultants Ltd) is a leading Kenyan management training company with experiences of delivering a broad range of ISO based management training courses with clients from government ministries, parastals, and institutions of higher learning and private sector organizations. In addition to this, Apex also runs the following:

• The certifed frms expo and plenary sessions
• Annual quality workshops
• Directory of certifed frms
• Apex young professional


Theme:The Role of Standardisation in winning the fght Against Corruption for sustainable Africa’s Transformation’’

The Competition aims to have 3 categories of winners: the National, Regional and Continental.

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In this regard, ARSO is requesting all the National Standards Bodies in Africa to organise the competition at the National level and send out the attached documents (6th Continental Essay Concept Paper and the Registration Form) to the various Universities /Colleges eligible for the competition.

The NSB is expected to conduct the competition at National level. This entails sending out the relevant documents to Colleges/ Universities, receiving the essays from the participants, doing the assessment and awarding or giving recognition to the winners as appropriate to the NSB.

The organizers are inviting students in institutions of higher learning in Africa (Colleges/ Universities
approved by their local commission of higher education) to submit their essays on the theme: “The Role of Standardisation in winning the fght Against Corruption for sustainable Africa’s Transformation” to their respective National Standards Bodies (NSBs) email addresses. (Confrm with your respective NSBs on the submission dates).

Kindly note that a minimum of 25 participants should be registered with respective NSBs in order for
them to proceed to regional competition. The deadline for submitting top three winners by National Standards Bureaus (NSBs) is 28th March 2019 through


1. This competition is open to Citizens of all African Countries below the age of 35 years living in Africa and studying in a university/college recognised by the local commission for university education or equivalent body in their countries
2. Length of essays : Essays should be between 1000 and 1200 words
3. Presentation: Essays should be double spaced and presented in Century Gothic, size 12
4. Language of essays: Essays must be submitted in English or French.
5. Information on the author: Authors may use up to 50 words to describe themselves. Information
should include their names, course and year of study, name, town and country in which their
university is located. (N. B: this will not be part of the 1000- 1200 words)
6. Contacts of authors: Authors should provide us with their postal, physical, telephone and email
addresses on the first page of the essay together with the title of the essay and information on the
author. Also kindly attach a copy of the Identity Card or pass port and a completely flled registration
form that can be obtained from Apex ( and ARSO (


• The following essays are not eligible for this competition:
i. Essays that have been shown or accepted for other competitions.
ii. Essays that have been published in any form.
iii. Essays that focus on the work of a particular person, organization or brand name.
9. Number of essays to submitted: Participants are only allowed to submit one essay.

There are different areas on the Role of Standardisation in winning the fght Against Corruption for sustainable Africa’s Transformation within Africa:
• Benefits of the fight Against Corruption within Africa;
• Status and challenges of Corruption within Africa;
• The fght Against Corruption as a catalyst to Africa’s Growth for improving the quality and standards of products and services within Africa
• The Benefts to Consumers, Manufacturers and suppliers, Regulators and The government
• Specifc Benefts of Anti Corruption and Anti Bribery Standards to Consumers, Manufacturers and
suppliers, Regulators and The government.

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1. A precise introduction of the essay
2. Explanation of the problems in the fight against corruption through the use of standards
3. General understanding of standards (Anti Corruption and Anti Bribery standards)
4. General knowledge of the Status and challenges with Corruption in Africa
5. How standards contribute to the Fight Against Corruption
6. A clear example in the society on how Standards have been used to fight corruption within Africa or in your country
7. Conclusion


There will be two levels of winners
At Regional Level

  • 1st position – USD 500
  • 2nd position –USD 300
  • 3rd position – USD 200

At Continental Level

  • 1st position – (male and female) each USD 1000
  • 2nd position –USD 800
  • 3rd position – USD 500

In addition the winners will be given a trip and accommodation to the next ARSO G.A (ARSO General Assembly) event that will take place in 2019 to be honored.


The selection of winners at regional level will be done according to the UNECA clustering of African
states as follows.

Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Sao Tome & Principe

Burundi, Comoros, D.R Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia

Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo

More information on this can be obtained by visiting

Please note that by entering the competition, you have assigned copyright of your essay to the
organizers of this event who may publish it in whole or in part on their respective websites, websites of national standards bodies, a wide range of publications for circulation both inside and outside Africa.


Winners will be selected through a fair and impartial selection process by the organizers.
The decision of the judges shall be final.


• Regional winners
Information on regional winners will be published on the following websites:
1. The organizers
2. Their respective regional economic communities
3. The website of their national standards body

Regional winners will be announced during the national standards day celebrations in their countries immediately following the essay competition and selection of winners

• Continental winners
Information on Continental winners will be published on the following websites:
1. The organizers
2. African Union Commission
3. Website of all national standards bodies

Continental winners will be announced during the Africa Standards Day Celebration held yearly
during the ARSO General Assembly.

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