How Corrupt Is Your Country Compared to Others? Find Out Here.
Corruption. Perversion of integrity. The blight that’s said to be the primary reason Africa lags behind the rest of the world.
Do you know that there’s a measurement for corruption? Yes, it’s true. Transparency International, a global anti-corruption coalition which is based in Berlin, Germany, is the organisation behind this idea and measurement. Describing itself as “one global movement sharing one vision: a world in which government, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption“, the organisation has been in existence since 1993 when it was created by “a few individuals deciding to take a stance against corruption.” – Transparency.org
The Corruption Perceptions Index – the actual ranking of each country based on how corrupt their public sectors are perceived to be – has been in existence since 1995 and is published annually. To see a list of rankings dating back to 1995, click here. The 2016 index is now available. Click here to view.
So how did African countries rank? How well did they do in 2016?
Well, Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe are the most improved countries in sub-Saharan Africa, given their relatively smooth presidential elections last year. Ghana, Mali, Djibouti, Mozambique, Gambia, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo and South Sudan significantly declined while South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya were stagnant – their scores failed to improve. Somalia is at the bottom of the list.
Botswana, Cape Verde, Mauritius and Rwanda rank as sub-Saharan Africa’s top three least corrupt countries (Mauritius and Rwanda tied for the #3 spot) with Namibia taking the fifth spot. These countries -Botswana, Cape Verde, Mauritius, Rwanda and Namibia – came 35th, 38th, 54th (both Mauritius and Rwanda) and 53rd respectively when ranked globally. Meaning that while they look good continentally, they pale when weighed globally.
So what does this all mean? African governments that run on an anti-corruption ticket must embrace freedom of the press, democratically-based transitions of power, transparency and the empowerment of citizens to hold their government(s) accountable. A culture of integrity must also be created, fostered and advanced – something that can only happen in the presence of self-examination and reflection (rather than meekly accepting the status-quo), a quality I think we’re sorely lacking.
In order to gain insight and arrive at an improved conduct, process or state of being, one must submit one’s self to a constant and recurring cycle of questioning, understanding, deciding and judging. This trial and error gives rise to further questions and ultimately yields complementary insight which when accumulated and shared, results in improved individual actions which when compounded, result in reformed societal behaviour. The desire for (and practice of) self-examination and reflection therefore, leads to individual leadership and the development of good moral character because the development of moral character, which is often lacking in the presence of corruption, is not simply for its own sake, but for the transformation and elevation of humanity, in general, and standards of living, in particular.
So here’s hoping that next year, more African countries show improved rankings when compared with their performance this year and as a continent, we begin to question, analyze and hold ourselves and each other to higher moral and ethical standards.
Images and quotes (in blue) courtesy of Transparency International – the global coalition against corruption.