Ghana stagnates on Corruption Perception Index 2021

Political party supporters celebrating an electoral victory

With an unchanged score of 43 over 100 since 2020, Ghana ranks 73 among 180 countries on the Transparency International (TI) 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

According to TI, overall, the CPI shows that control of corruption has stagnated or worsened in 86 per cent of countries over the last decade.

The Index which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, relies on 13 independent data sources and uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

It indicates that more than two-thirds of countries (68 per cent) score below 50 and the average global score remains static at 43. Since 2012, 25 countries significantly improved their scores, but in the same period 23 countries significantly declined.

The Index shows that corruption levels remain at a standstill worldwide, with 86 per cent of countries making little to no progress in the last 10 years.

It also found that countries that violate civil liberties consistently score lower on the CPI.

“Complacency in fighting corruption exacerbates human rights abuses and undermines democracy, setting off a vicious spiral. As these rights and freedoms erode and democracy declines, authoritarianism takes its place, contributing to even higher levels of corruption,” TI said.

Commenting, Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International said:  “Human rights are not simply a nice-to-have in the fight against corruption. Authoritarian approaches destroy independent checks and balances and make anti-corruption efforts dependent on the whims of an elite. Ensuring people can speak freely and work collectively to hold power to account is the only sustainable route to a corruption-free society.”

Sub-Saharan Africa shows no significant improvement on the Index with an average score of 33 out of 100.

The Index found that the gains made by a handful of countries are overshadowed by backsliding or stagnation in others and the region’s poor performance overall, as 44 out of 49 countries assessed on the index still score below 50.

With the COVID-19 pandemic severely hitting the previously less-affected continent, alongside protracted armed conflicts and rising terrorist threats, 2021 was a turbulent year for sub-Saharan Africa. These worrying trends exacerbate the serious corruption problems that exist from long before, it said.

“To keep corruption out of the public eye, governments across the region have limited information and cracked down on independent voices calling out abuses of power,” it added.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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