Corruption is getting worse in Africa- Afrobarometer Report

Corruption, according to the majority of citizens in Africa is on the increase, thus getting worse than previous years in their respective countries.

This revelations was disclosed in the Afrobarometer report released by Transparency International (TI).

The survey carried out by the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) in partnership with Afrobarometer, sampled 47,000 citizens in about 35 African countries on African Anti-Corruption Day.

Speaking at a press conference held in Accra, the Programmes Manager of Transparency International (TI) Mary Awelana Addah explained that, less than a quarter of citizens in Africa perceives that, the fight against corruption is getting better.

With regards to Ghana, the report revealed that 59 percent of respondents perceives Ghana Police Service is the most corrupt institution, followed by Judges with 38 percent, government officials 35 percent, and Members of Parliament (MPs) with 32 percent.

“Corruption is hindering Africa’s economic, political and social development, hence a major barrier to growth, good governance and basic freedoms such as freedom of speech which is citizens’ rights to hold governments accountable.” she added.

Acknowledging that, though governments have a long way to go in regaining citizens’ trust and reducing corruption, these values don’t exist in a vacuum.

“Foreign bribery and money laundering divert critical resources away from public services, and ordinary citizens suffer most.” the programmes manager reiterated.

Mrs. Mary Awelana Addah noted that, according to the report, more than 1 in 4 persons that assess public services such as health care and education pay bribe more in the previous year which is equivalent to approximately 130 million across the regions in a country.

The Afrobarometer report also highlighted how corruption disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, with the poorest paying bribes twice as often as the richest.

Speaking further, she outlined the key findings of the survey that shows how more than half, representing 55 percent of the population in the surveyed countries perceived corruption is on the rise between the year 2016 and 2018 respectively in African countries.

Adding “only 23 percent of the surveyed respondents indicates corruption is on the decline, 1 in 3 citizens representing 34 percent perceived government is doing good job at fighting corruption, while 59 percent rate government’s performance as bad.”

Also, the report raised concerns about the integrity of public officials which remains high, revealing that, bribery demands are regular occurrence and retaliation of reported corruption cases but, however, about 53 percent think the ordinary citizens can make a difference in the fight against corruption.

According to her, reports on corruption has been difficult in spite of the laws that guarantee protection and rewards proactive reporting, but was quick to add that, 60 percent of the citizens claimed that, government is doing a good job in the fight against corruption whiles 30 percent debunks the claims of government working hard to fight corruption.

Meanwhile several recommendations were also outlined in the report such as intensifying efforts in the fight against corruption and adequately resourcing the anti-corruption institutions to discharge their mandate, fast track of investigations by Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP) and ensuring public awareness per section 3(3) of the Act as well as the enforcement of compliance by authorities at public institutions among others.

Therefore Ghana Integrity International (GII) commended the state for passing the companies Act, which clearly spells out the Beneficial Ownership Regime but urged and encouraged government to operationalize it by establishing the public registers name and provides details of owners of shell companies to address the challenge of stolen assets.

Source: Ishmael Barfi

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