It’s very safe to say that corruption has anchored its root to almost every system in Africa. Starting from the political sphere to the economic, financial, security, and social domains, corruption seems to have overshadowed integrity, accountability, fairness, and morality.
While it isn’t arguable that corruption resides only in Africa, recent statistics on corruption across the continent shows Africans majorly play along with it, regardless of its detriments.
The list of 10 most corrupt countries in Africa has been released by Transparency International (TI) using a Global Corruption Barometer. The list rates countries based on the level of corruption citizens perceive in their country.
In a bid to determine the level of corrupt practices that have engulfed each country in Africa perceived to be highly corrupt this year, TI surveyed people in 54 African countries. And the result reflects exactly what the members of the countries can relate to.
Truth is, corruption is everywhere, in almost every country on the surface of the earth. But results by numerous researchers show corruption thrives very well in most countries battling with political, economic, and social instabilities.
In as much as corruption is endemic in Africa (as it is in other continents), it has been with man from time immemorial. The essence of this article, however, is not to ridicule any country mentioned herein, but to expose how deep corruption has feasted on Africa and at the same time find possible ways of tackling it.
Where Are The Most Corrupt Countries Based In Africa?
According to the report, corruption sagas roping in power players resurface in government departments and ministries of Uganda even though her current leader, President Museveni, and his administration have embraced anti-corruption war repeatedly.
The report also found that prime minister Amama Mbabazi has been linked to corruption cases, particularly one that has to do with the sale of land to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
However, President Museveni gave him immunity against facing justice. The health system is debilitated, with more doctors choosing foreign countries where they can receive fat pay. Schools, mostly in rural areas in Uganda, remain in a substandard state and there are steady teachers’ strikes over low salary.
The country can’t account for $258.6m (£160.3m) every year thanks to corruption, according to the 2007 African Peer Review Mechanism report.
9. Equatorial Guinea
The country takes a position on the list despite being among the globe’s wealthiest nations of the world, beating Saudi Arabia, Korea and Italy combined. From bribing to looting, such that the poverty rate of the entire nation is really high. This is because citizens of Equatorial guinea survive under $1 per day.
In the past ten years, Angola has lost about 5 billion dollars to corruption. The country is among the most corrupt countries in Africa and is also on the world’s top ten most corrupt countries list. Nearly the entire government in Angola engage in obtaining money fraudulently amounting to a hundred million dollars for personal use.
Based on the report, about 62% of Cameroonians bribed their way out last year while 81% said their judiciary is graft-minded. Of the respondents, 71% felt that corruption was deep-rooted in schools. About 46% of the respondents noted that graft practices have jumped in the last 2 years; only 30% felt that corruption had decreased.
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.
Mugabe’s country gained fame for being corrupt-stricken. The study says 62% of Zimbabwe respondents disclosed they bribed in the last year. 77% of Zimbabweans feel corruption has spread across the country, which Zimbabwe Independent suggests was as a result of the rise in poverty and hardship. 65% of the respondents noted that health sector of the country is heavily affected by corruption.
The report shows that 62% of Libya’s respondents paid bribes as the basic way of getting served rightly. But more sadly, a discouraging 71% of the respondents said journalists wouldn’t report an incident of corruption since the fall out would not be good; a press release from Amnesty International shows that a newspaper editor was convicted and served up to 15 years in prison for publishing a list of 84 reportedly corrupt judges.
Well, our very own Kenya didn’t miss out on the list. The country too has been hit by graft scandals – almost countless. The report shows that 74% of the Kenyan respondents paid bribes to obtain government services faster. Some percentage also said they would not have gained access to the services if they hadn’t paid the bribes. 95% said they perceived that the police were very corrupt. In addition, public funds mapped out for projects that would have served the public as well as create thousands of jobs were stolen home by those in charge.
Liberians said to gain anything from the government is same as paying a bribe, as 75% of Liberians had bribes in one year to get served by government officials. The country’s judiciary is way rotten with 96% naming the Parliament very corrupt.
The police were called graft with 94% saying their corruption is in the extreme. Deputy Police Director for Administration Rose Stryker has cited low income as the cause of the situation of the country’s security agency. President Johnson Sirleaf kicked some powerful people in her government in a quest to clean-off corruption.
1. Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone took the number one spot for gathering the largest percentage of respondents – 84% – among all the countries whose citizens were surveyed. The citizens said they have bribed to obtain favour to be served by government officials paid by the administration to discharge such duties. 79% think the police are very corrupt, while 74% nailed the judiciary.
Richard Konteh, President Ernest Bai Koroma’s chief of staff, frowned at the survey and said it does not get his country’s local practices of presenting kola nut to the chief after a job that is done well. This has caused Sierra Leone to come to be known as the worst of the corrupt countries in Africa.
Identifiable Causes of Corruption In Africa
In Africa, corruption is as prevalent as it is in other developed, developing, and underdeveloped countries in the world. What this simply means is that affected countries share common factors that breed corruption.
Some identifiable causes of corruption in Africa include selfishness, greed, political conflicts, lack of political will, weak judicial system, lack of fairness, transparency and accountability, the absence of ethical values, among others.
Are There Possible Ways Of Fighting Corruption In Africa?
While it looks almost impossible to put a lid on corruption in African countries, it’s very much possible to keep a tight rein on it. Some of the ways to keep the ‘monster’ under control is by;
- Speaking up for your right even in the face of threat, intimidation or harassment.
- Ensuring our communities have access to basic social service and amenities.
- Carrying out constructive assessments and evaluation of leaders and demanding accountability from them, irrespective of how powerful they might be or appear to be.
- Taking urgent and necessary disciplinary measures against abusive leaders and their cohorts in the government.
- Creating room for citizens, especially poor families, to have meaningful dialogue with leaders. Remember, corruption to a very large extent gives rise to poverty and other unpleasant ills.