Corruption perception index rates in Ghana better but …

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Ghana has performed better on the corruption perception index but an anti-corruption campaigner said this is not encouraging, nearly eight years after President John Agyekum Kufuor declared “zero tolerance for corruption”.

Vitus Azeem, Executive Secretary of Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International, said Ghana was now ranked 67 out of 180 countries with a score of 3.9 out of 10 in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) for this year.

This compares with a score of 3.7 last year, which placed Ghana at 69 out 180 countries captured in the CPI report. Azeem said this year’s score took Ghana back to its highest score ever of 3.9 in 2002.

Denmark, New Zealand and Sweden shared the highest score of 9.3, while Somalia placed last with a score of 1.0.

Aseem said Ghana’s rise this year was a result of scoring high marks on a number of determinant factors, including the enactment of laws aimed at promoting transparency and accountability, the creation and support of anti-corruption and accountability institutions by government and development partners.

“One should also mention pronouncement by government officials about what government is doing to curb corruption,” he said. “While we might rejoice at the improvement of scores from 3.7 to 3.9, we should recognize that there is more to be done – in fact the trend should awaken us to the fact that we are far from winning the fight against corruption.

“In spite of some gains corruption remains an enormous drain on Ghana’s limited resources which can better be used for education, health and infrastructure.”

Azeem said in order to consolidate and improve on the gains made, there was need to fast track the passage of the freedom of information law, ensure that the assets declaration law was complied with and disclosures could be verified.

“We must also ensure that the outgoing president, vice president and all ministers declare their assets before they leave office and the incoming administration must do the same before they take office as required by law,” he said.

He also called for an independent prosecutor who would be free of influences from the government, empowerment of the anti-corruption and accountability institutions, strengthening of the whistle blower act and separation of the government from the ruling party to prevent state resources being used for party purposes.

Ghana’s score on the CPI was better than some of its sub-regional neighbours, including Burkina Faso, 3.5, Nigeria and Togo both with a score of 2.7. Other scores from Africa included Zimbabwe (1.8), DR Congo and Equatorial Guinea, (1.7 each), Chad, Sudan and Guinea (1.6 each), Swaziland (3.6), Morocco (3.5), Madagascar and Senegal (3.4 each).

Some African countries which scored better than Ghana are Botswana (5.8), Mauritius (5.5), South Africa (4.9) and Namibia (4.5). Panapress.

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