Corruption Index: Ghana stagnates four years in a row



Ghana scored 43 out of a possible 100 in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International.

The country’s global ranking, however, improved marginally as it moved up two places from 72nd last year to the 70th position this year.

In the last four years, Ghana has maintained a score of 43/100 with fluctuating ranking each of these years. According to the report, a score of 100 is very clean and 0 is highly corrupt. According to Transparency International, this means that Ghana has a “serious corruption problem.”

Ghana’s best CPI score in the past 10 years was in 2014 when the country scored 48. It dropped to 40 in 2017, went up marginally to 41 in 2018 and 2019 before climbing marginally to 43 in the past four years.

Africa’s performance

According to Transparency International, the 2023 CPI shows that corruption is thriving across the world.

The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories around the globe by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, scoring on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). Some 90% of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa scored under 50.

Africa’s best performers include Seychelles, Cape Verde, Botswana and Rwanda, ranked 20th, 30th, 39th and 49th respectively.

Africa’s most populous and largest democracy, Nigeria is among the world’s most corrupt countries ranked 145th with a score of 25.

Ghana’s neighbours Burkina Faso (85th) and Togo (126th) did not fare any better but Cote d’Ivoire moved up three places to 87th. Somalia ranked as the world’s most corrupt country.

Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway and Singapore rank as the top five least corrupt countries in the world.

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Corruption and the Unending Fight for Justice in Ghana

The CPI report stated that there is a chronic weakness in justice systems meant to detect, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate corruption cases globally. Thus, the unending impunity for corruption is causing corruption to thrive easily.

“Both authoritarian and democratic leaders are undermining justice. This is increasing impunity for corruption, and even encouraging it by eliminating consequences for criminals,” part of the report read.

In the case of Ghana, the Office of the Special Prosecutor, which was established in 2018 to be a flagship specialised independent anti-corruption institution in Ghana, is expected to investigate and prosecute suspected corruption and corruption-related offences in the public and private sector.

However, many corruption cases receive no closure, little prosecution with worrying political interference.

On Friday, December 10, 2021, President Nana Akufo-Addo, while delivering the keynote address at the National Anti-Corruption Conference organised by the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, said: “The establishment of the Office of Special Prosecutor (OSP) represents the most courageous measure by any government, since independence, to prosecute corruption in the executive arm of government.”

However, in a surprising turn of events, both the former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu and the current prosecutor, Kissi Agyabeng have lamented challenges that impede the work of the Office, particularly from the judiciary.

In November 2023, Mr Agyabeng, who expressed worry while addressing the media, said, “I wasn’t sounding like a prophet of doom but there is doom looming ahead of us, that very soon a murderer will boldly walk to go to seek an injunction. Should I feel frustrated and resign? I took an oath and, in my life, when I take on the reins to do something, I do it to the best of my ability.”

Corruption-related cases

In the last few months, many corruption cases in the public sector have not seen the desired results in the fight against corruption.

The Fourth Estate’s School Placement for Sale investigation found evidence that placement into Category A schools happened through a network of intermediaries that included cleaners and security guards. The case is still in court.  An earlier call by the Director-General of the Ghana Education Service into allegations of corruption in the placement system was abruptly discontinued by two state security agencies.

Al Jazeera’s Gold Mafia investigation that mentioned President Akufo-Addo did not receive much attention from state investigators except the presidency’s demand for apology and retraction from Al Jazeera.

There were many other allegations of corruption revealed by Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Okudzeto Ablakwa including the National Cathedral scandal in which its Secretary was found to been using double identification.

In September 2023, many young Ghanaians embarked on a three-day protest to register their grievances against socio-economic conditions and increasing corruption in the government.





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