Anti-corruption education as a way of building positive peace in Rwanda
Basabose, Jean de Dieu
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Corruption has increasingly become a challenging issue that undermines peacebuilding processes. Anti-corruption efforts therefore constitute one of the ways of building and sustaining positive peace. Attempts to combat corruption generally follow one of three strategies which include: developing legal and punitive frameworks, establishing investigative and preventive mechanisms and promoting ethical values-based approaches. The present study has explored corruption in Rwanda and has highlighted the necessity of developing anti-corruption education as a way of combatting corruption. The first part of the study has used focus group discussions and interviews to collect information on corruption in Rwanda while the second part consists of experimental interventions organized to test an anti-corruption education curriculum. It has been realized that Rwanda, if compared with other African countries, has made remarkable progress in terms of fighting against corruption. However, the country still has a long way to go in order to achieve its ambition of building a corruption-free nation. The educational strategies to ensure the promotion of ethical values-based approaches have been found the weakest aspect of the anti-corruptioan campaign in Rwanda. This study has emphasized the necessity of involving children in the combat against corruption. Inspired by the Ubupfura ethical values, which are embedded in Rwandan culture, the study has proposed an anti-corruption curriculum for Rwandan children under the name of Nibakurane Ubupfura. Through the experimental interventions and preliminary evaluation of the curriculum, it has been demonstrated with evidence that the proposed anti-corruption education, applying an Ubupfura model, could significantly contribute to equipping children with the skills needed to disassociate and distance themselves from corrupt practices. With reference to the short-term impact of the experimental intervention conducted in this study, it leaves no doubt that the continous use of this education curriculum will help children to develop attitudes and behaviors that resist corruption. It is argued in this study that an effective campaign against corruption should consider promoting anti-corruption education with the aim of enabling present and future generations to maintain and live out the Ubupfura ethical values. Considering the link between anti-corruption and peacebuilding efforts, as explained in this study, it is underlined that efforts continuously made to raise such generations could undoubtedly move Rwandan society toward sustainable positive peace.