West Africa- January 30, 2019: The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 180 countries worldwide, including those of the Mano River Union (MRU) sub-regional economic grouping in West Africa have been released by Transparency International (TI).
Cote ‘Ivoire showed relatively highest among the four countries with a CPI of 35 and a global score of 105. Although in comparison to other countries in the MRU, Cote d’Ivoire remained higher, it dropped 1 base point from the prior year. Nine sources were used to determine the CPI of Cote d’Ivoire and consist of the African Development CPIA, Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index, Economist Intelligence Unit Country Ratings, Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, PRS International Country Risk Guide, World Bank CPIA, World Economic Forum EOS, World Justice Project Rule of Law Index and Varieties of Democracy Project.
Next is Liberia whose CPI rose to 32 – an improvement of 1 base point over the prior year using eight sources including African Development Bank CPIA, Bertelsman Foundation Transformation Index, Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, PRS International Country Risk Guide, World Bank CPIA, World Economic Forum EOS, World Justice Rule of Law Index and Varieties of Democracy Project. Liberia’s global ranking is reported at 120.
Sierra Leone’s CPI was reported at 30 with no change from the prior year. Based on the assessment of nine sources including African Development Bank, Bertelsman Foundation Transformation Index, Economist Intelligence Unit Country Ratings, Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, PRS International Country Risk Guide, World Bank CPIA, World Economic Forum EOS, World Justice Project Rule Index and Varieties of Democracy Projects . The global ranking of Sierra Leone is 129.
At the bottom of the list is Guinea which came in with a CPI of 28 – improving 1 base point from 2017. Six sources were considered for its score and include the African Development Bank CPIA, Bertelsman Foundation Transformation Index, Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, PRS International Country Risk Guide, World Bank CPIA and Varieties of Democracy Projects.
According to TI, “ Since its inception in 1995, the Corruption Perception Index, Transparency International’s flagship research product, has become the leading global indicator of public sector corruption. The index offers and annual snapshot of the relative degree of corruption by ranking countries and territories from all over the globe. In 2012, Transparency International revised the methodology used to construct the index to allow for comparison of score from year to the next…”
In his assessment of the report, Mr. James T. Fiske, a Liberian medical professional who is currently in his doctoral nursing residency at Arizona University told the West African Journal Magazine that, “ To improve corruption perception requires transforming the conditions that create those perceptions. In other words, the impression that Africa and African countries are poor is a fallacy that should be replaced by a more realistic appraisal of what is occurring. That is, African countries are not poor but extremely mismanaged! I call this the paradox of poverty. African governing class do not hold themselves or are being held accountable for making sure that the variables that make the current rich environments that persist in many African countries work for the betterment of its people. No one fought to decolonize Africa but Africans and no one will transform the wealth of Africa for Africans, but Africans. There is no third world, but one world divided between one group of people who hold themselves accountable for their development (developed nations) and those waiting for others to do it for them (underdeveloped countries).”
A social media commentator and political analyst in Monrovia Mr. Ibrahim Al-bakri Nyei, in his analysis of the TI report noted that, “MRU countries must build institutions and enforced institutional rules to constrain regulate the behavior of public officials. Fighting corruption has been a campaign pledge of every contemporary African politician but they always fail to build the necessary institutions to support them in fighting corruption, some of them end up witch hunting. To improve their CPI scores they must govern according to the law, deliver services with transparency and hold people accountable for their actions.
Globally, Denmark and New Zealand scored a CPI of 87.The 2018 CPI draws on surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, giving each a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
“Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption,” Patricia Moreira, Managing Director of Transparency International says.
Public corruption in the West African sub-region and across the continent harms democracy and national growth and governance.
By Emmanuel Abalo
West African Journal Magazine