Corruption In Africa 2019

By Paul Ndiho

Transparency International has released a new global corruption index that tracks perceptions of corruption in 180 countries.  The report reveals that the performance of countries Sub-Saharan Africa paints a bleak picture of inaction against corruption. SSA_753_449-1

As world leaders gathered with billionaire executives at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in cities around the world, demanding that action be taken to tackle growing inequality and corruption.

A new report released by Transparency International highlights the scale of the problem.  The annual corruption perception index states that winning the fight against corruption continues to be an uphill battle for Sub-Saharan Africa nations.

With a score of 66, Seychelles earned the highest mark in the region, followed by Botswana 61, Cape Verde 58, Rwanda 53, and Mauritius 52.  Not surprising are the countries at the bottom of the index; Somalia 9, South Sudan 12, Sudan 16, and Equatorial Guinea 16.

A majority of citizens surveyed in more than 35 African countries think that corruption is getting worse and that their government is doing a poor job of fighting the vice.

Angola is waging a fight in its battle against corruption.  The nation’s judiciary is investigating billionaire Isabel Dos Santos over alleged mismanagement and misappropriation of funds while she was chairwoman of the state oil firm Sonangol.  Her bank accounts and assets in her home country have been frozen and the nation’s chief prosecutor says authorities could issue an international arrest warrant if she fails to cooperate with a fraud probe in which she has been named a suspect.  Dos Santos denies any wrongdoing and says the allegations are politically motivated.  Dos Santos’ father, Jose Eduardo dos Santos ruled the oil-rich, but impoverished country for nearly 40 years.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists obtained more than 715,000 documents pertaining to Isabel Dos Santos, stoking fresh claims she siphoned off hundreds of millions of dollars in public money.

In a separate investigation, the anti-corruption N-G-O, “Global Witness”, has discovered the apparent theft of more than $50 million in public funds from the Republic of Congo by Denis “Kiki” Sassou-Nguesso, the son of the President Denis Sassou-Nguesso.  The report alleges that he laundered millions through six European countries.  “Kiki” Sassou-Nguesso is denying all allegations of wrongdoing.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, has made fighting graft his number one issue, but critics say he has been slow to pursue top officials.  No high profile convictions have occurred since he took office.

Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, late last year, pleaded not guilty to corruption charges, in a rare example of a sitting governor facing court in the graft-wracked country.

Widespread corruption continues to hinder development and disproportionately affects Africa’s poorest citizens, who many times have to pay bribes to access public services.

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