General News of Tuesday, 7 February 2017
The 2016 edition of the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) scored Ghana 43 points out of a possible clean score of 100 and showed that Ghana’s performance has dropped by four percentage points from its 2015 score of 47 points.
A release by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local wing of Transparency International (TI), a civil society organisation focused on fighting corruption worldwide, said this score was the lowest in Ghana’s CPI scores since 2012 when CPI scores became comparable.
It said that although Ghana performed better than many other African countries, including Lesotho and Burkina Faso, Ghana also performed below eight other African countries including Botswana - 60, Cape Verde - 59, Mauritius – 54, Rwanda – 54, Namibia – 52, Sao Tome and Principe – 46, Senegal – 45 and South Africa - 45.
The 2016 CPI score indicates that in spite of Ghana’s efforts at fighting corruption, the canker was still a serious problem and that Ghana’s score of 43 points was a likely reflection of the many exposés of public sector corruption in the last few years including the police recruitment scam and the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Authority (GYEEDA) scandal.
The rest are the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) scandal, GH?144 million Ghana Revenue Authority / Subah Scandal, the infamous Woyome’s GH?51 million judgment debt saga and the Smarty’s bus rebranding deal. This is likely compounded by government perceived inability to fully resolve high profile corruption cases.
Botswana once again was first with a score of 60, ranking 35 globally and followed by Cape Verde with a score of 59 and ranking 38 globally. Third and fourth was occupied by Mauritius and Rwanda with both scoring 54 and ranked 50 globally.
Namibia and Sao Tome and Principe scored 52 and 46 respectively and ranked 53 and 62 globally but fifth and sixth in Africa. Senegal and South Africa both scored 45 and ranked 64 globally. Overall, only five out 46 African countries that qualified to be captured by the index scored above 50.
Many African countries dominated the bottom of the CPI with Somalia, South Sudan,The Sudan, Libya, Guinea Bissau, Eritrea and Angola scoring 10, 11, 14, 14, 16, 18 and 18 with rankings of 176, 175, 170, 170, 168, 164 and 164 respectively.
National security issues
Denmark and New Zealand performed best with scores of 90, closely followed by Finland (89) and Sweden (88). Although no country is free of corruption, the countries at the top share characteristics of high standards in open government, press freedom, civil liberties and independent judicial systems.
For the 10 year running, Somalia is the worst performer on the index, this year scoring only 10. South Sudan is second to bottom with a score of 11, followed by North Korea (12) and Syria (13).
Countries at the bottom of the index are also characterised by widespread impunity for corruption, poor governance and weak institutions.
This year, more countries declined in the index than improved, showing the need for urgent action.
It is the leading global indicator of perceived public sector corruption, offering a yearly snapshot of the relative degree of corruption by ranking countries from all over the globe.
This year’s index ranked 176 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The index draws on 13 surveys covering views of business people and country experts.
The CPI 2016 used nine out of the 13 data sources of independent institutions with a high level of credibility to compute the index for Ghana.
The TI states that what is urgently needed are deep-rooted systemic reforms.
This should be done through empowering citizens to stop the widespread impunity for corruption, hold the powerful to account, and have a real say in the decisions that affect their daily lives.
The GII also recommends that the new political and institutional leadership must demonstrate commitment to the fight against corruption by strengthening anti-corruption legislation and closing identified gaps; passing outstanding laws such as the Right to Information (RTI) and the Public Officer’s Code of Conduct and sanctioning corrupt officials.
The leadership should also look at different ways of using innovation and technology to reduce red tape in fighting corruption.