SIFISO SKENJANA: Lebanon’s power-sharing system echoes ANC’s antigraft failures
Ethnically diverse economies tend to have higher levels of rent-seeking, corruption and mismanagement of public funds
Upon its 1943 independence, the people of Lebanon agreed to a power-sharing system among the three dominant religious groups — Christians, Sunni Muslim and Shia Muslim — for president, prime minister and speaker of parliament respectively.
Some of the main features of the Lebanese economic and political context today include government paralysis and unrelenting corruption, energy supply shortages, a burgeoning public sector wage bill, rising poverty levels and unsustainable government debt that ultimately triggered a financial crisis. On March 9, Lebanon failed to repay its debt obligation on a $1.2bn Eurobond — the country’s first sovereign credit default.