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African countries and “the Corruptions Perception Index (CPI)”

24.03.2019
Article from AFRIC Editorial
According to Transparency International, Corruption is, “The abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. Before Transparency International started and made The Corruptions Perception Index (CPI) Evaluation global, the idea of corruption was attributed to the less developed countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION OF THE CORRUPTIONS PERCEPTION INDEX (CPI)

The Corruptions Perception Index (CPI) was launched in 1995 by Transparency International under the supervision and control of Professor Johann Graf Lambsdorff. It is an international annual report of the evaluation of the perceived levels of public sector corruption; from the least corrupt to the most corrupt country by percentage ranking worldwide. Lambsdorff, a fifty four year old German Professor and author of the book, “The Institutional Economics of Corruption and Reform” was commissioned by Transparency International in 1995 to design the Corruptions Perception Index (CPI). In 2012, Transparency International revised the methodology and strategies used to bring up this index allowing the possibility of comparison with previous results, adoption by and contribution of other renowned and accredited international institutions and organizations. This revised methodology is currently being used to rank 180 countries including African countries on a percentage scale (from 100 clean to 0 highly corrupt countries); New Zealand and Denmark have been perceived as the least corrupt while two African countries precisely South Sudan and Somalia have been perceived the most corrupt countries in the world with 12% and 9% since 2017 respectively.

On 29th January 2019, Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair Lady of Transparency International said, “Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage.”

INDICATORS THAT MAKE CPI EVALUATIONS POSSIBLE

Corruption in different countries can be perceived in the social, economic and political milieu as many bad practices, effects and consequences can be seen in every aspect of life.

In the political Sector the following indicators can be perceived; lack of quality in services from the public sector, lack of proper justice, disregard for foreign organizations and institutions, lack of respect for Authorities, lack of trust in the governments and government institutions, aversion of public posts and appointments, slow execution of public projects, public demonstrations, war and many more..

In the economic sector; high levels of unemployment, embezzlement of public funds, bribery, decrease in foreign investment, delay in economic growth, lack of development, differences in trade ratios.

In the social sector; lack of measures to minimize accidents, high crime wave, lack of monitoring strategies for pollution, failure to do follow up and genuine research, low provision of basic needs, frequent disease outbreaks.

PUBLIC OPINIONS, SURVEYS AND ASSESSMENTS USED BY THE CORRUPTIONS PERCEPTION INDEX (CPI)

Since 2012, the CPI takes into consideration 16 different surveys/assessments from 12 separate international institutions and organizations; 13 of which are either from business people or groups of professional analysts before the annual CPI evaluation is published. These international institutions and organizations are:

Transparency International (TI) based in Germany, World Economic Forum (WEF) based in Switzerland, Freedom House (FB) based in USA, Bertelsmann Foundation (BF) based in Germany, World Bank Group (WBG) based in USA, Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) based in UK, Information Handling Services – Global Insight (HIS – GI) based in USA, International Institute for Management Development (IIMD) based in Switzerland, African Development Bank (AfDB) based in Côte D’Ivoire, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) based in Hong Kong, Political Risk Services (PRS) and International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) Group, Inc. based in USA and World Justice Project (WJP) based in USA.

CPI AND AFRICAN COUNTRIES

Transparency International for the last six years has proven that there is corruption in every country in the world against the perception that it is an African social ill. Since 2012, the following African countries have shown a remarkable improvement in their fight against corruption as per CPI evaluation report; Botswana, Seychelles, Cape Verde, Rwanda, Namibia, Mauritius, Senegal, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia and Burkina Faso as the result showed a percentage score range between 41% to 66%. Meanwhile Angola, Chad, Congo, Burundi, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia have stayed at the bottom with little or no improved percentage range from 8% to 19%.

Before the release of 25th CPI evaluation results on Tuesday 29th January 2019, Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair Lady of Transparency International said,

“The CPI results correlate not only with the attacks on press freedom and the reduction of space for civil society organizations. In fact, what is at stake is the very essence of democracy and freedom.”

WHY AFRICAN COUNTRIES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCALE ARE UNABLE TO REVERSE THE TREND

For some years now, the same African countries have remained at the bottom of the CPI evaluation list are unable to reverse this trend because of the autocratic nature of their leaders. These leaders have been in power for many years and in some cases have absolute control over state institutions. These countries lack resources that can be used for economic growth therefore leading high level of poverty and unemployment.

There is political instability and civil disorder in these countries that are perceived as most corrupt in Africa. Countries like South Sudan and Somalia have been in war for many years, making it difficult for authorities or organizations put in place to fight corruption effectively.

Most government officials in these countries are driven by greed, thus the need to amass wealth. They usually go as far as taking from public coffers to satisfy their personal needs.

CPI CRITICISMS AND LIMITATIONS

Despite the international affirmation and accreditation, many people, organizations, institutions and even governments still argue that corruption cannot be measured by a single score due to its complex nature. Only the public sector is taken into consideration leaving out the private sector which turns out to be more affected by corruption.

Many people go with the popular opinion that corruption is a practice that works for them and cannot be averted, thus causing authorities, governments and communities not to cooperate and grant complete access to information and opportunities for the fight against corruption.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

Credit image :google image/CPI

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