CONRAD ONYANGO, BIRD STORY AGENCY
THREE African countries have defied a turbulent year to top the continent in public sector governance ratings as five more record significant gains on leadership transparency over the last decade.
Transparency International in its 2021 Corruption Perceptions index, ranks Seychelles the best performer in Africa with 70 points followed by Cape Verde (58) and Botswana (55) in second and third positions respectively.
The three countries managed to keep corruption at bay, despite the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflicts and terror threats that the report said are some key reasons for poor governance in Africa and the world.
Over the last decade, for instance, Seychelles’ performance improved significantly by 18 points on ‘substantial’ open governance and anti-corruption reforms.
“These gains need to be further solidified, not reversed,” quipped the global corruption watchdog.
While the performance of Cape Verde remained flat and Botswana dropped five points compared to 2020, they were above Africa’s average score of 33 and global average of 43 points.
The TI ranks 180 countries and territories around the world by measuring their perceived levels of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
Over the last decade, Senegal and Tanzania had the second and third-biggest improvement by nine and eight points respectively, while Ivory Coast and Angola added seven points each to boost their rankings.
A crack-down on high profile corruption cases since the election of Angolan President Joao Lourenco in 2017 helped the country improve its score, according to the watchdog.
Even as Senegal’s score dropped slightly by two points, the creation of an office for the fight against fraud and corruption (OFNAC) and the passage of asset declaration laws pushed up its ratings over the 10 year period.
Ethiopia closed the list of the most improved in public sector governance by six points to a current score of 39.
The majority of African countries (44) out of the 49 indexed, however, had scores below 50 that contributed to lower average ratings of the continent.
“The gains made by a handful of countries are overshadowed by backsliding or stagnation in others,” said the index.
While Equatorial Guinea (17), Somalia (13) and South Sudan (11) remained at the bottom of the index, there was a point improvement in the scores of Somalia and Equatorial Guinea compared to last year- an indication that those countries were improving their efforts.