Corruption is the use of a public office for the benefit of an individual. It is a widespread vice in many countries of the world, both the developed and the developing ones (Werksman, 2003). The international-aid programs are too faced with the same predicament, when some officials collude with corrupt individuals to offer dubious services to the unsuspecting beneficiaries to the donations. Governments have fallen and great careers ruined all because of corruption.
There is a question as to whether corruption is simply a western concept or a traditional one too? In the western concept, corruption is viewed as downright corruption, be it bribery, fraud, misappropriation of public assets or nepotism, these are all forms of corruption, and it is shunned though many people still find it to be helpful. Corruption is a vice that is detrimental to development. The westerners argue that it speeds up the process of implementation of administrative practices in the government. This may be services like the obtaining of a business permit; the faster it is gotten the faster someone can start operating the business hence development in the country (Myint, 2000). This idea is not defendable because, other countries that do not condone such arguments have efficient bureaucracies and enjoy good economic well-being. To me this is just an excuse to pardon corruption.
The traditional societies, however, view such actions that would be perceived as corruption as mere giving of a token for appreciation. Most traditional societies have the habit for offering tokens for a service rendered (Sarre et al. 2005). Consider a situation whereby an official in a traditional society somewhere is to receive a token to avail some needed rubber stamps. He avails the stamp faster for the person who offers a larger token other than the counterpart who offers little or no token at all. In my opinion, this is still a form of corruption, just the same as any other only that the concerned parties do it in such a way that there are no guilt feelings of having done something wrong because token offering is acceptable. There will obviously be biases based on the tokens offered, and this is corruption.
In this respect, the traditional societies just like the western ones have the vice and should work on eliminating it. Why not eliminate the whole concept of offering tokens as people are not equally generous. Tokens will always vary in size and value, and this will give rise to biases which is corruption.
Reforms have to be made in various institutions, to ensure that corruption is under control to a degree where we will one day talk of a corruption free world.