JOHANNESBURG, As the lowest-scoring region on the latest Transparency International corruption perception index (CPI 2019), with an average of 32 points out of 100, sub-Saharan Africa’s performance paints a bleak picture of inaction against corruption, according to the report.

The Seychelles, with a score of 66, earns the highest mark out of the 49 countries assessed in the region, followed by Botswana (61), Cabo Verde (58), Rwanda (53), and Mauritius and Namibia, both (52).

At the bottom of the index are Somalia (9), South Sudan (12), Sudan (16), and Equatorial Guinea (16).

Other countries listed include South Africa (44), Ghana (41), Burkina Faso (40), Tanzania (37), Zambia (34), Malawi (31), Kenya and Uganda (28), Angola, Mozambique, and Nigeria (26), Zimbabwe (24), and Democratic Republic of Congo (18).

Significant improvers since 2012, Cote d’Ivoire (35) and Senegal (45), still have much work to do, the report says.

The political will demonstrated by the leaders of both countries, which saw a number of key legal, policy, and institutional reforms implemented in their early days in office, has been on a backslide since 2016.

Since 2012, several countries, including Congo (19), Liberia (28), Madagascar (24), and Malawi (31) have significantly declined on the CPI. Congo has been the subject of repeated reports of money laundering and embezzlement of public funds by the country’s political elite with no action taken by national authorities.

In Madagascar, despite a 2018 constitutional court ruling against electoral amendments favouring the incumbent president and cited as unconstitutional, judicial independence remains a concern. More recently, the national anti-corruption agency began legal action against more than half of the country’s parliamentarians, who stand accused of taking bribes.

Money is used to win elections, consolidate power, and further personal interests. Although the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption has provisions to prevent corruption and encourage transparency in campaign financing, implementation is weak, the report says.

Countries to watch include Angola, which jumped seven points in this year’s CPI, following four decades of authoritarian rule, making it a significant improver. However, given its overall low score, the country is still well below the global average of 43.

Ghana, known as a beacon of democracy in West Africa, dropped seven points on the CPI since 2014, moving from 48 in 2014 to 41 in 2019. Revelations of bribery in Ghana’s high court in 2015 and the murder of investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale in early 2019 cast serious doubts on the country’s anti-corruption efforts, the report says.

Source: African News Agency