Transparency International (TI) just released the Global Corruption Barometer 2014, which ranks countries according to perception of corruption levels. In this year’s report TI surveyed people in 54 African countries. Here is a list of the 10 most corrupt countries according to the report:
President Museveni and his government have repeatedly promised to stamp out corruption, but major corruption scandals resurface in government departments and ministries, said the report. The prime minister Amama Mbabazi has also been accused of having been involved in corruption cases, including allegations related to the sale of land to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), only to receive protection from the President Museveni, said the report.
Many rural schools in Uganda remain in a poor state and there are regular teachers’ strikes over low pay. The health system is ailing, with more doctors preferring to work in foreign countries where they can receive better salaries. The country loses up to $258.6m (£160.3m) a year due to corruption, according to 2007 the African Peer Review Mechanism report.
9. Equatorial Guinea
Being one of the wealthiest nations of the world beating Saudi Arabia, Korea and Italy combined, Equatorial Guinea has also managed to become one of African most corrupt countries. It is one thing to take bribes, but to put the entire nation below 60% poverty rate is almost Ludicrous. As most citizens of Equatorial guinea survive under $1 per day, it has truly managed to become a prominent addition to our list of 10 most corrupt countries in Africa.
Having corrupt officials in the government has become a norm for many countries, but the entire government swindling few hundred million dollars for personal gain is unheard of. Angola is one African country which has managed to gain quite a reputation for itself as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Since not being able to account for more than 5 billion dollars in the past ten years, Angola has managed to become the 4th most corrupt country in Africa and is also on the world’s top ten most corrupt countries list.
62% of Cameroonians paid a bribe in the last year. Of the respondents, 81% felt that the judiciary is very corrupt, and 71% felt that corruption was rife in academic institutions. More disappointing is that 46% of the respondents feel that corruption has increased over the last 2 years; only 30% felt that corruption had decreased.
Picture shows a billboard on the campus of the University of Buea in Cameroon.
62% of Mozambican respondents said either they or someone in their household paid a bribe at some point over the last year. 79% of the respondents felt that the education sector was highly corrupt (only the police were thought more corrupt). The Ministry of Education has been mired in multiple scandals such as diversion of funds and corrupt admission to schools. The report is however encouraging in that 64% of the respondents believe ordinary citizens can make an impact in the fight against corruption.
Picture of a school in Namachilo, Mozambique
62% of Zimbabwe respondents said they paid bribes over the last year. 77% of Zimbabweans think corruption has increased over the last 2 years, which Zimbabwe Independent attributesto rising poverty and hardship. 65% of the respondents said they they thought the health sector was highly corrupt. A 151-page government report released earlier this yearshows that government hospitals are highly corrupt. The TI report notes, for example, that women giving birth in a local hospital have been charged US$5 every time they scream as a penalty for raising a false alarm.
62% of Libya’s respondents said they had paid a bribe over the last year, mainly because it was the only way to obtain a service. A discouraging 71% of the respondents said they wouldn’t report an incident of corruption because they are afraid of the consequences; a press releasefrom Amnesty International indicates that a newspaper editor was detained and faces up to 15 years in prison for publishing a list of 84 allegedly corrupt judges.
Picture shows children at work in Zintan in Libya’s western mountains
74% of the Kenyan respondents said they had paid bribes to access government services. Also, 95% said they felt that the police were very corrupt. Asked why they paid the bribes, 56% said they did so to get faster services, while 36% paid bribes because they would otherwise not obtain the service. A 2012 World Bank reportindicates that 12% of the funds allocated for public procurement (enough to create 250,000 jobs annually) went to bribes.
Picture shows a corruption report box in Kenya.
75% of Liberians stated that the had paid a bribe to access government services. In addition, 96% said that Parliament was very corrupt and 94% felt the police were extremely corrupt. Deputy Police Director for Administration Rose Stryker has attributedpolice corruption to low salaries. President Johnson Sirleaf recently dismissed some top members of her administration for corruption.
Picture shows Liberian police patrolling streets.
1. Sierra Leone
Among all the countries whose citizens were polled, Sierra Leone has the highest percentage of respondents (84%) who said they had paid a bribe in order to get government services. 79% of the respondents consider the police as corrupt, while 74% consider the judiciary as corrupt. Richard Konteh, President Ernest Bai Koroma’s chief of staff, dismissed the report saying TI misunderstands Sierra Leone’s cultural practice of giving chiefs kola in appreciation for their services. This 2011 investigation by Al Jazeera shows alleged collusion of top government officials in corrupt and illegal export of natural resources like timber.