Please enter verification code
The Ethical and Social Implications of Age-Cheating in Africa
International Journal of Philosophy
Volume 3, Issue 1, February 2015, Pages: 1-11
Received: Dec. 23, 2014; Accepted: Jan. 25, 2015; Published: Feb. 3, 2015
Views 3198      Downloads 412
Mbih Jerome Tosam, Department of Philosophy, Higher Teacher Training College Bambili, The University of Bamenda, Bamenda, Cameroon
Article Tools
Follow on us
This paper examines the ethical and social implications of a particular form of corruption in Africa—age-cheating. Although age-cheating is a global issue, it has received very little academic attention from social philosophers. In this paper I argue that there exists an inextricable link between bad governance, economic hardship, and the collapse of moral values in most African countries. Using Cameroon as an example, I maintain that age-cheating is one of the several corrupt ways citizens in most post-colonial African states use as a way out of unemployment, chronic poverty, and political and economic deprivation. Also, age-cheating is common in African countries where the civil registration system is either archaic or completely inexistent. I argue for the view that a vibrant democratic culture would help to promote values like accountability, transparency, and the rule of law which may enhance governance and economic development as democracy promotes political and economic rights and freedoms. In this direction, I suggest that, in tandem with democracy, the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) may be helpful in improving transparency in the domain of civil registration in particular and state governance in general.
Age-Cheating, Ethics, Economic Hardship, Biometric Registration, Good Governance, Africa, Cameroon
To cite this article
Mbih Jerome Tosam, The Ethical and Social Implications of Age-Cheating in Africa, International Journal of Philosophy. Vol. 3, No. 1, 2015, pp. 1-11. doi: 10.11648/j.ijp.20150301.11
Agunias, D. R. and Newland, K. (2012). Developing a road map for Engaging the Diaspora in Development: A Handbook for Policymakers and Practitioners in Home and Host Countries, Geneva, International Organization for Migration.
Ali, H. S. (2010). “Beyond the Resource Curse: Minerals and Global Development” Issues in Brief 12 January.
Allen, A. L. (2004). “Cheating, the Big Mistake,” in The New Ethics: A Guided Tour of the Twenty-First Century Moral Landscape, New York: Marimax Books, pp. 28-57.
Anonymous, (2009). The Diaspora as an Economic Asset: How China and India use their Diaspora to Support their Economic Development, M.A. Dissertation, London of School of Economics and Political Science.
Backus, Micheil. (2001). “E-Governance and Developing Countries: Introduction and Examples”, Research Report, No. 3.
Bouville M. “Why Cheating is wrong” (, 12/03/2013).
Cameroon Economic Update, Unlocking the Labour Force: An Economic Update on Cameroon with a Focus on Employment, January 2012.
Cleveland, D. A. (1989). “Developmental Stage Age Groups and African Population Age Structures: The Kusasi of the West African Savanna” American Anthropologist.
Eze, C. E.(1998). “Modern Western Philosophy and African Colonialism”, in Emmanuel C. Eze (ed.), African Philosophy: An Anthology, Oxford, Blackwell Publishers.
Backus, Micheil. (2001). “E-Governance and Developing Countries: Introduction and Examples”, Research Report, No. 3.
Bouville M. “Why Cheating is wrong” (, 12/03/2013).
Cameroon Economic Update, Unlocking the Labour Force: An Economic Update on Cameroon with a Focus on Employment, January 2012.
Ebai, J. E. and Forje, J. W(2009), Challenges of Administrative Reforms and Public Service Accountability in Africa : The case of Cameroon, Cameroon Journal of HumanRights and Democracy Vol. 3, Number 1 June 2009.
Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, A. and Fent, T. (2004) “Workforce Aging and Economic Productivity: The role of Supply and demand of Labour: An Application to Austria” Current Issues of Economic Growth, No. 2.
Guest, “Football Age, Real Age, and the Meanings of Age in Africa”, 02/04/2013)
Government Uncovers 1,050 ‘Age cheats in Civil Service
Gupta, T. and Panzardi R. “The Role of E-Government in Building Democratic Governance (with a special focus on LatinAmerica)” (accessed 29/12/2013)
Halleson, D. N. (2011). “The Charter for the Public Service in Africa: A Normative Framework for Public Service Reforms in Africa”, Cameroon Journal on Democracy and Human Rights, Volume 5, Number 2, December 2011.
Houmfa Mamadou. “African civil servants, please retire!”
Kant, I. (1992). Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals in Michael L. Morgan (ed.) Classics of Moral and Political Theory, Indianapolis, Hackett Publishing Company.
Mbembe A.(1992). “Provisional Notes on the Postcolony”, Journal of the International African Institute, Vol. 62, No. 1, pp. 3-37.
Mhlanla, Z. “Turning back time: Age cheating in football”
Mbaku J.M. (2007).Corruption in Africa: Causes, consequences and cleanups, Plymouth, The Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.
Mungazi, F. (2010). “Africa Kicks: Part Two”, BBC, accessed 23/10/2013)
Museveni, Y. (2005) “The Power of Knowledge” in Bert Hamminga (ed.) Knowledge Cultures: Comparative Western and African Epistemology, Amsterdam, Rodopi.
Nwel, T. P. (1999), Corruption in Cameroon, GERDDES-Cameroon, Yaoundé, Friederich-Ebert-Stiftung.
Nyamnjoh, F. (1999). “Cameroon: A Country United by Ethnic Ambition and Difference”, African Affairs.
Oba, F. N. (2011). “Colonialism and Education” Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference on Teaching, Learning and Change (Ofege, T. (2004). Corruption in Cameroon : A State of the Art (, accessed 31/12/2013).
Rawls, J. (1990). Political Liberalism, New York, Columbia University Press.
Sen, A. (1999). Development as Freedom, New York, Alfred A. Knopf.
Serequeberhan, T. (1994) The Hermeneutics of African Philosophy: Horizon and Discourse, New York, Routledge.
Sinnot, J. and Molina, R. (2013). Football's age fraud: FIFA probes player with 'four birthdays' (, accessed 17/12/2013).
Shu, C. A. (2009). Cameroon: When Certificates Are Cooked- Up, Not Earned! ( accessed 17/12/2013)
Tangwa, G. B.(2014). “Cameroon” in H.A.M.J. ten Have, B. Gordijn (eds.), Handbook of Global Bioethics,941-958
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186