African countries

African countries stagnate in the fight against corruption

By ANTHONY KITIMO

South Sudan, Somalia and Burundi rank first in the East African region as the most corrupt countries in the world, while 80% of sub-Saharan African states continue to be lagging behind in the war on corruption over the past decade.

According to Transparency International’s 2021 report, Rwanda is ranked first (52) in the region as one of the least corrupt countries, followed by Tanzania (87), Kenya (128) and Uganda (144) .

South Sudan, Syria and Somalia remain at the bottom of the global index, with countries plagued by armed conflict or authoritarianism tending to get the lowest scores, including Venezuela, Yemen, North Korea, Afghanistan, Libya, Equatorial Guinea and Turkmenistan.

Overall, the Corruption Performance Index (CPI) shows that corruption control has stagnated or worsened in 86% of countries over the past decade, even as cases of human rights are increasing and democratic space is shrinking in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The IPC Progress Report indicates that more than 90% of countries globally score below 50 as levels of corruption remain at a standstill around the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, 80% of countries have made little or no progress over the past 10 years,” the report read.

The gains of a handful of countries in the region are overshadowed by the decline and stagnation of others.

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Serious corruption problems are exacerbated by ongoing violent conflicts and terrorist attacks in countries ranging from South Sudan (180) to Mali (136).

Unconstitutional changes of government like the case of Guinea (150) highlight political corruption; and the severe impact this year of the Covid-19 pandemic has given governments an excuse to limit information and rights in Cameroon (144) and Uganda (144).

Transparency International’s regional adviser for Africa, Samuel Kaninda, said the survey indicated there had been serious plunder of natural resources, as millions of people lacked access to public services, while violent conflicts raged and terrorist threats increased.

“A decade of stagnant levels of corruption has been devastating for sub-Saharan Africa, as big corruption deals allow elites to operate with impunity, diverting money from the continent and leaving the public with few rights or resources. “said Mr. Kaninda. .

Sub-Saharan Africa’s average is 33, the lowest in the world, and 44 countries rank below 50. Over the past decade, 43 countries in the region have either declined or made no progress significant.

Only six countries in the region have significantly improved their scores over this period, including Seychelles, Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ivory Coast and Angola.

The survey recommends that there is an urgent need for African governments to implement existing anti-corruption commitments if they are to mitigate the devastating effects of corruption on millions of citizens living in extreme poverty.