• Corruption surveys continue to attract attention on the continent

Corruption surveys continue to attract attention on the continent

10 April 2018

Anti-corruption initiatives and surveys remain big news items in Africa. Two recent examples are:

  • Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) published by Transparency International in February 2018
  • Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation adopted by the AU as its theme for 2018

Corruption Perception Index (CPI) published by Transparency International in February 2018

The CPI 2017 uses 13 different data sources from 12 different institutions that capture perceptions of corruption within the past two years. The executive summary of this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index highlights that “the majority of countries are making little or no progress in ending corruption,” The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 being highly corrupt and 100 being very clean. This year, the index found that more than two-thirds of countries scored below 50, with an average score of 43. Unfortunately, compared to recent years, this poor performance is nothing new. It also highlights that the majority of countries are making little or no progress in ending corruption, while further analysis shows journalists and activists in corrupt countries risking their lives every day in an effort to speak out. This year, New Zealand and Denmark ranked highest with scores of 89 and 88, respectively. Syria, South Sudan and Somalia rank lowest with scores of 14, 12, and 9, respectively. The best performing region is Western Europe with an average score of 66. The worst performing regions are the African Union (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 34). The report on the CPI by Transparency International contains some interesting observations on the performance of Africa. It highlights three main themes: A few members, such as Botswana, Seychelles, Cape Verde, Rwanda, and Namibia, set high standards which are comparable to OECD member states which highlights the important role of political leadership in combatting corruption: “The key ingredient that the top performing African countries have in common is political leadership that is consistently committed to anti-corruption. While the majority of countries already have anti-corruption laws and institutions in place, these leading countries go an extra step to ensure implementation.” Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire made big improvements. The improvement followed a commitment by the presidents of both countries and were followed up by enabling legislation, and the implementation of a compliance programme. A core group of very poor performers at the bottom include South Sudan, Sudan, and Libya that are strife torn. Another category is characterised by entrenched leaders who do little to combat corruption.

Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation adopted by the AU as its theme for 2018

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