‘Sextortion’: The Worst Form of Corruption Across the Globe

January 16, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. — For more than a year, a BBC television team went undercover at the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana, where young female students are routinely extorted by professors. They are vulnerable because they either seek to gain admission to the universities or to secure good grades to allow them to continue their studies. The girls are not extorted for cash but for sex.

The resulting “Eye on Africa” documentary is deeply disturbing, but young women — not just in West Africa — but in scores of countries, are routinely “extorted.” It is the worst form of corruption and the hardest to expose and curb.

Many years ago, I heard Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Nigerian finance minister, give a lecture in Washington, where she told the story of Rose, a 21-year-old university student in Nigeria:

“Rose, from a poor rural family, could not purchase the series of class notes sold by her lecturer to students as part of the reading material for her class. The lecturer, who used these monies to supplement his income, noticed that Rose was not purchasing the notes and penalized her through low grades for her work. When she explained that she couldn’t pay, she was asked to make up with other favors, which she refused. The failing grade she was given was instrumental in her withdrawal from the university, which put an end to her higher education. An individual and an entire family lost their hope and pathway to escape poverty.

When I followed up on this story, I found that it was by no means an isolated case. It was part of a systemic rot that had befallen what had once been a very good tertiary education system in Nigeria.”

How do we define “sextortion”?

To read the full article by Frank Vogl on PassBlue: Click Here


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