The latest Corruption Perception Index released by Transparency International shows that Ghana scored 43 out of a possible clean score of 100.
The West African country thus placed 73 out of 180 countries.
The latest report also suggests the country didn’t make any progress in its fight against corruption.
“This CPI score indicates that, Ghana failed to make progress in the fight against corruption in the year 2021 as the score of 43 is the same as the country’s 2020 score,” said Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International, in a statement.
The GII report draws upon 13 data sources that capture the assessment of experts and business executives on a number of corrupt behaviours in the public sector. The survey uses a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
The 2021 index reveals that Botswana (55), Lesotho (38), Eswatini (32), Niger (31), Nigeria (24), Comoros (20) and South Sudan (11) are all at historic lows. In the last decade, 43 countries in the region have either declined or made no significant progress.
In the 2021 CPI, Denmark, Finland and New Zealand topped with 88 points each. Syria, Somalia and South Sudan are at the bottom with 13, 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Since 2012, Botswana (55), Liberia (29), Mali (29) and South Sudan (11) have significantly declined on the CPI. Only six countries in the region have significantly improved their scores over that period. They are Seychelles (70), Senegal (43), Ethiopia (39), Tanzania (39), Côte d’Ivoire (36) and Angola (29). Ghana’s score of 43 placed her 9th along with Senegal out of 49 SSA countries on the 2021 CPI index.
Recommendations by GII
Specifically, for Ghana, GII recommends the following:
- Enhance institutional checks on power Public oversight bodies including anti-corruption agencies and the supreme audit institution must operate fully independent from the executive as their mandates stipulate.
They should continuously be well-resourced with budgets allocated to them fully disbursed and empowered to effectively investigate and sanction corruption timeously.
- Empower citizens to hold power to account Agencies of state responsible for guarding the rights of citizens should take active roles in ensuring expeditious investigations into violations of the rights of civil society and media activists as well as human rights defenders and facilitate justice for crimes against all. Parliament and the courts should also be vigilant in preventing executive overreach.
- Sanction the corrupt to serve as a deterrent Ghana is touted to have considerable anti-corruption frameworks including sanctioning laws. However, not enough commitment on sanctioning corruption, particularly, political corruption has been demonstrated in recent years.
Government and state anti-corruption institutions must effectively work towards making corruption a high risk and a low gain venture in order to reduce the incidences of abuse of power, impunity and corruption.
- Improve transparency and accountability in a political party and campaign financing The Electoral Commission should be held accountable to ensure the enforcement of the Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574), particularly Section 21 which relates to the disclosure of funding sources by political parties.
Parliament should also amend Act 574 to include disclosure on funding sources for candidates contesting Presidential and Parliamentary elections. There should also be a ceiling on how much can be raised and spent by candidates contesting these elections.
- Promote efficient public service delivery and anti-corruption through digitization Evidence from the ongoing digitization projects of government suggests that automated processes within relevant public institutions (GRA) have reduced human contacts and also have the potential to help reduce corruption.
Government should, therefore, expedite its digitization programme and extend electronic services to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and digitization of services that are in high demand by citizens must be prioritized.