Corruption Perceptions Index 2018
In too many countries, people are deprived of their most basic needs and go to bed hungry every night because of corruption, while the powerful and corrupt enjoy lavish lifestyles with impunity – José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International
A Grim Look
The leading global anti-corruption civil society organisation Transparency International, is due to release its much anticipated 23rd annual Corruption Perceptions Index next week on 21st February.
The analysis looks at linkages between corruption, press freedom and the decline of civil liberties around the world.
As was the case over the past two years, this year’s index is also expected to reveal the grim state of civil liberties and a general worsening state of corruption across the world.
Why the disparaging outlook? Simple, the index comes on the heels of last week’s release of the Democracy Index 2017 titled, “Free speech under attack” which reported that over the past few years, the world is facing its worst decline in democracy.
The Democracy Index was issued by the Intelligence Unit of the The Economist and assessed the state of democracy in 165 independent states and two territories. The results were deploring, appalling and demand concerted efforts to reverse.
“In 2017, not a single region recorded an improvement in its average score compared with 2016.”
The Corruption Perceptions Index is the leading global indicator of public sector corruption. This year, the index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption.
Corruption, in increasingly complex forms, is eroding fair and democratic governance across the world. Violence against activists, journalists, and citizens who speak out against injustice and corruption is on the rise, all too often with impunity – International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC).
- Africa and the Global Down Spiral
Apart from Rwanda, all E. African countries scored below the global average of 43 in the last Corruption Index.
Rwanda topped the region scoring an impressive 54 (well above the global average 43) and ranked a high 50 of the 176 reviewed countries.
Tanzania followed scoring 32 and ranking 116 followed by Kenya which scored 26 and ranked 145. Uganda scored 25 and ranked 151, Burundi scored 20 and ranked number 159.
The latest arrival to the East African Community, S. Sudan was lowest in the region and only second to the last in the world, it scored a lowly 11and ranked 175 of the reviewed 176 countries.
Corruption and inequality feed off each other to create a vicious circle between corruption, unequal distribution of power in society, and unequal distribution of wealth – Transparency International.
E. Africa Rankings Corruption Perception Index 2016
World Ave: 43 No of Countries Reviewed 176
Source: Transparency International. Corruption Perception Index 2016
Understanding The Index
The index measures the countries on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The lower-ranked countries in the index are plagued by untrustworthy and badly functioning public institutions like the police and judiciary.
Even where anti-corruption laws are on the books, in practice they’re often skirted or ignored. People frequently face situations of bribery and extortion when they try to access even basic services that have been undermined by the misappropriation of funds.
This kind of systemic grand corruption violates human rights, prevents sustainable development and fuels social exclusion.
Higher-ranked countries tend to have higher degrees of press freedom, access to information about public expenditure, stronger standards of integrity for public officials, and independent judicial systems.
But high-scoring countries can’t afford to be complacent, either. While the most obvious forms of corruption may not scar citizens’ daily lives in all these places, the higher-ranked countries are not immune to closed-door deals, conflicts of interest, illicit finance, and patchy law enforcement that can distort public policy and exacerbate corruption at home and abroad.