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Can Africa beat corruption?

September 23, 2008

cpi_2008_cmyk-africa.jpgTransparency International’s annual corruption report card is out and there is little surprise that many African countries are well towards the bottom of the Corruption Perceptions Index.

Somalia is at 180 out of 180. Six of the 10 worst offenders are African states. The best placed African country, Botswana, is at 36 (up from 38 last year).

There are some bright spots in Africa. Nigeria jumped 26 places higher to 121 on the list – not bad for a country that ranked bottom in 2000. Mauritius rose 12 places to 41.

Lest anyone celebrate too soon in Africa’s most populous nation, however, Transparency International added a warning.

“Nigeria’s reputation as seriously committed to transparency and accountability, is dependent on the resolve of political leaders to back anti-corruption pledges with concrete action, including ensuring the independence of anti-corruption agencies,” it said.

The sacking late last year of the head of Nigeria’s corruption fighting body, who had won praise for tough action at home and abroad, has raised doubts over the commitment of the administration elected last year.

Transparency International also pointed to some countries where the picture appears to have grown worse – among them continental giant South Africa, Senegal and Uganda.

How well do you think African countries are doing in the fight against corruption? Who should be doing more? Is it a battle that can be won?



Everyone knows how african ‘leaders” get into power. Most of them are puppets supported by westerners. In short, their power is coming from outside of african people. In this way, the so-called african “leaders” (puppets) are not able to stop corruption, because they have to corrupt their foreign masters in order to stay in power. We know that corruption is a part of international political system which put by force these african “leaders” in power. We see that corruption is ONLY an effect. It is not the cause, and the cause is international intervention and influence into african governments . Therefore, to beat corruption, we must move the cause.

Posted by Kiziton | Report as abusive

TO me Africa can beat corruption if so the Africans starting from the leaders and the pesants down accept the way they are.The problem with africans they donot apreciet the litile they have,those who have want to get more and those who dont have they have to find quick ways of getting some thing becose they are not given any democrtic chance of geting ways of living.This is worse in contries like Ugander where if you are not awesterner it is not easy for to get agood job,and the sitiustion is worsened by those westerners who arledy have some thing but they are never surtisfied with what they have,if Africans get soltions for this we can atleast tremendously reduse corruption.


Matthew,the tragedy is that this report does not describe the reality in Nigeria.Would there have been such a leap in good behaviour,you would notice it in the lay of the roads budgeted for completion this year, the temperature at the international airports where ccoling systems have collapsed. We see the glee on the
faces of legislators at both national and subnational assemblies, most of whom arrived from corruption- without votes counted in their favour, and are cynically pretending that there is accountability by anyone.

Posted by murumbushi Okotie ebo Ikoyi | Report as abusive

I think literacy is the solution … People should be aware of their basic rights and duties.

More literate a state, lesser are the chances of corruption.


It is a surprise to note that Nigeria made progress in it’s drive to ride their country of corruption. I find it really septical accept the survey. What was the critera used in the survey?. How was the level of corruption determined?. Nigeria government recently sacked the police commissioner in charge of the Anti corruption commission. No reason was given for the desolution of the commission. There is no continuation in that regard. Nigeria needs fundermental changes in the system of governance in order to curb corruption. There is an urgent need for data and computerization of every department of government,open debate before and after the award of contracts. When this is applied it may not completely stop corruption, it will make it easier to trace and presecuted any corrupt official.


legalize gambling internet.maybe corruption will be uprooted.If they can get out of debt.we learned in ww2 that french philosophy in europe is socialism yes but the picture is in africa and going to go into our economy.At least agree that africa is a great start.It a diamond just like the limpenza de sangra was giving just as israel put forth on the table.That means purity of blood.You cannot root them all out what if you find out they will not deliver you enabling people like edi amin and lineages.

Posted by Phil | Report as abusive

The report by Transparency International or Reuters is not an informed report. It doesn’t reflect reality. Do you guys care to know that Ethiopia is the only country in the world where the ruling party owns most of the businesses in the country? The ruling elite are the only rich people ammassing the country’s wealth for themselves, they survive and no one is scrutinizing them because they are doing what the US asks them to do: they send the military to fight in Somalia. As long as they do as they are told, they are free to do whatever they want, including starving people to death.

Posted by Abera M. | Report as abusive

Ben, what do you mean by mean sceptical of the TI results on Nigeria? Did you criticize the survey method when Nigeria was consistently rated among the bottom five countries in the world for over a decade? Please, stop applying double standards on issues like this.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Africa will only reduce levels of corruption when the people of Africa start to believe that a corruption free society will improve their own lives, and that it is achievable, and are empowered to stand against it by their leaders. Currently, the situation for the bulk of the population is one of desperation and almost all the ‘successful’ people Africans see around them are those who are corrupt – businessmen and politicians alike. Corruption is seen by many as the only way to succeed and accepted as the smart thing to do – if you can get away with it. Punishment for corruption must be swift and harsh and perceived to be inevitable – and communities that work towards a common good and exclude the ‘cheaters’ must be formed. A difficult job when it must be accomplished by those who succeeded in the environment they need to eradicate….

Posted by Ian | Report as abusive

There certainly appears to be some question over how well Transparency International’s index reflects the reality in a country like Nigeria, although 121 on a list of 180 countries still does not mark it out as all that clean. I haven’t had the chance to see for myself since Nigeria was – probably quite deservedly – at the bottom of the list. Are things really as bad as they were a decade ago? Or should we treat studies like this with more scepticism? Given new doubts over the fight against corruption in Nigeria, can it be expected to hold its position on the index in a year’s time?

Posted by Matthew Tostevin | Report as abusive

the reason has to why most african countries are very corrupt is that the goverment of most african countries have failed to pay its workers properly

Posted by michael odeng | Report as abusive

It is sad that the politicians in Nigeria have caused the system to failed disastriously that the poor and intimidated Nigerians are now fasting and praying for another Military Government.
It is so bad that Nigerians in diaspora have joined the frustrated home-front to pray for Military intervention.
If we succeed in fighting corruption in Nigeria, the rest of Africa will be liberated. This is the view of overwhelming majority in Africa. The Corruption in Africa is a spill-over from Nigeria.

Posted by Daniel Udo-Asari (USA) | Report as abusive

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