The 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released today, Jan 28, 2020, by Transparency International (TI) has scored Ghana 43 out of a possible clean score of 100 and ranked the country 75 out of 180 countries and territories included in this year’s index. This CPI score indicates that Ghana gained 2 points compared to its 2019 score of 41 and improved in ranking by five places.
The CPI scores 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people. It draws upon 13 data sources which 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).
According to the report, the top countries on the CPI are Denmark and New Zealand, with scores of 88, followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland, with scores of 85 each. The bottom countries are South Sudan and Somalia, with scores of 12 each, followed by Syria (14), Yemen (15) and Venezuela (15). The highest scoring region is Western Europe and the European Union with an average score of 66, while the lowest scoring region is Sub-Saharan Africa with an average score of 32.
“Since 2012, 26 countries improved their CPI scores, including Greece, Myanmar and Ecuador. In the same period, 22 countries decreased their scores, including Lebanon, Malawi and Bosnia & Herzegovina.”2020 Corruption Perceptions Index
Sub -Saharan African (SSA) Ranking and Ghana’s Performance
In Africa, Seychelles is ranked highest with 66 points followed by Botswana with 60, Cabo Verde with 58, Rwanda with 54 and Mauritius scored 53 as the top five countries in SSA. Ghana’s score of 43 placed her 10th in SSA. Ghana also performed better than 39 other SSA countries including Benin, Lesotho, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, etc.
According to Transparency International, the 2020 CPI reveals that, persistent corruption is undermining health care systems and contributing to democratic backsliding amid the COVID-19 pandemic. TI says, countries that perform well on the index invest more in health care and are better able to provide universal health coverage and are less likely to violate democratic norms and institutions or the rule of law.
In Ghana, though government’s measures at managing the pandemic and its related impact in 2020 was generally commendable; still outstanding is the issue of accountability. In a recent statement released by Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) following the launch of the CPI 2020 report, some recommendations were made to reduce the incidences of corruption and better respond to current and future crises in the country.
GII recommends that government strengthens oversight institutions to ensure resources reach those mostly in need. Anti-corruption authorities and oversight institutions must have sufficient funds, resources, and independence to perform their duties in real time to identify and prevent diversion of government support; enforces procurement rules to all contracts; ensure open and transparent contracting to combat wrongdoing, identify conflicts of interest and ensure fair pricing.
Also, GII underscores the need for the government to publish relevant data and guarantee access to information to ensure the public receives easy, accessible, timely and meaningful information including – COVID-19 procurement contracts above a minimum value, names and beneficial ownership of companies awarded contracts, validating delivery of services and goods, and developing specific budget lines for COVID-19 reporting ; to speed up the digitization of the economy to facilitate more efficient and transparent delivery of key services in the pandemic period and also facilitates the ease of doing business and prevent artificial opacity; and to defend democracy and promote civic space and rights to create the enabling conditions to hold governments accountable.