As citizens around the world are gradually demanding accountability from their governments, 60 per cent of Ghanaians say ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption. This is according to the 10th edition of the Global Corruption Barometer for Africa 2019 by Transparency International.
In 2015, majority of Ghanaians, 53 per cent of them, still shared the same view.
Like Ghana, the rest of Africa, 53 per cent of them are hopeful, actions by citizens can help stop corruption.
“While most people surveyed felt corruption had increased in their country, a majority felt that they, as citizens, could make a difference in the fight against corruption. Recent events in Gambia show how citizens can play a fundamental role in making these changes,” the report said.
According to a 2017 Afrobarometer report by Thomas Isbell, the most effective way ordinary citizens can take action against corruption, is that they report corruption when they see or experience it.
Yet two-thirds of Africans think that if people report corruption, they will suffer retaliation and many people think that reporting channels are ineffective. 67 per cent of Africans fear retaliation if they report corruption, while 28 per cent of them think otherwise.
“Africans believe they can make a difference. Governments must allow them the space to do so. African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption provisions on media freedom and civil society should be implemented across Africa,” Paul Banoba, Regional Advisor for Africa at Transparency International was quoted as saying.
The Global Corruption Barometer concludes that, corruption in Africa has a direct impact on the lives of citizens. The report recommends that, African governments create mechanisms to collect citizens’ complaints and strengthen whistleblower protection, to ensure that citizens can report instances of corruption without fear of reprisal.
Corruption is viewed so seriously that, the African Union Commission (AUC) declared last year, 2018 as Anti-Corruption Year, but it is yet to be seen how effectively the organisation has worked at dealing with the issue.
By Gifty Danso
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