Tanzania, Kenya Improve in Corruption Perception Index 2022

By Prosper Makene

Kenya’s William Ruto and Tanzania’s Samia Suluhu Hassan in a recent visit

Tanzania and Kenya have shown improvement in a corruption perception index (CPI) of 2022, according to a new report by Transparency International (TI).

Tanzania scored (38), Kenya (32) and Ethiopia (38) are among countries that have managed to significantly improve their CPI scores.

The report said that integrity of the vote itself also remained a concern. In Kenya (32), the election highlighted the urgent need for public scrutiny of political financing. The same issue will be in the spotlight during 2023 elections in Nigeria (24) and Ghana (43) in 2024.

The report has further said that South Sudan continues to face numerous challenges. The pandemic exacerbated economic problems and the humanitarian situation is dire: according to the UN, more than half of the population is facing acute food insecurity. Corruption has a part in this.

A recent report revealed that money meant for food, fuel and medicine was allegedly stolen in a massive fraud scheme through a network of corrupt politicians some of them with ties to the president’s family. Politically, too, the country has been in turmoil. A period of democratic transition after 2019 was followed by a military coup.

Somalia is back at the very bottom of the CPI, both regionally and globally. The country has been mired in a circle of violence and instability for over three decades, with practically no means available to curb rampant corruption. In October 2022, the recently elected president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud dissolved two key anti-corruption bodies – the Judicial Service Commission and the Anti-Corruption Commission – via decree. Mohamud has been accused of corruption and abuse of power in the past. Meanwhile, economic and humanitarian conditions for Somalians are steadily deteriorating.

Seychelles took a step forward by amending its Anti-Corruption Act in 2019, but its Public Officers’ Ethics Commission does not have investigative powers.

Angola (33) has shown significant improvement over the past years, gaining 14 points on the CPI since 2018. President João Lourenço’s ongoing commitment to root out systemic corruption in the country is showing effects, including through stronger laws. The public prosecutor recently requested for Interpol to issue an arrest warrant against Isabel dos Santos, daughter of the former president, and the Supreme Court ordered her assets to be seized.

Perceptions Index (CPI) for Sub-Saharan Africa. Forty-four of the 49 countries assessed still score below 50. Gains made by a few countries are outweighed by significant declines in others.

This year’s CPI results underline how intertwined paths of democracy, security and development in Sub-Saharan Africa are eroded by corruption – particularly during a time of global crises.

The region struggles to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and an increased cost of living. Extensive funds are needed to address the consequences of economic, ecological and healthcare challenges, and they must not be lost to corruption.

Seychelles continues to lead the region with a CPI score of 70, followed by Botswana and Cabo Verde, each with 60. Burundi (17), Equatorial Guinea (17), South Sudan (13) and Somalia (12) perform the lowest.

According to the Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Peace Index 2022, the Central African Republic (24), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (20), Somalia (12), South Sudan (13) and Sudan (22) are five of the ten least peaceful countries globally. The CPI also places them among the bottom 30 countries in terms of perceptions of public sector corruption.

Mali’s (28) CPI score has declined seven points from its peak of 35 in 2015. While corruption is not necessarily an active driver of the conflict, divisions at the heart of the violence have been reinforced over years of mismanagement and indifference to the plight of certain groups in Malian society. The grievances that terrorist groups have proved adept at exploiting stem largely from corruption.

However, the absence of armed conflict does not necessarily mean political stability. In several countries not affected by war, governments still consider anti-corruption activists public enemies. This can be seen in Madagascar (26), where the executive director and board chair of Transparency International’s national chapter are facing criminal charges after calling for investigations into companies involved in the Malagasy lychee trade.

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