ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopia has improved 18 places on a global corruption perception index, according to Transparency International or TI’s annual Index.
The 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is published annually by Germany-based TI and assesses the perceived levels of public sector corruption in the opinion of experts and business people in 180 countries.
The report which was released on Thursday says Ethiopia is now ranked 96 out of the 180 countries considered.
The index uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. Ethiopia scored 37 out of 100 points, improving by two points from 2018, and ranking below the global average score of 43% but higher than the Sub-Saharan average score of 32%.
The improvment came during prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s regime which spearheaded the biggest crackdown on corruption in Ethiopia’s recent history.
His move includes removing METEC from the multi-billion US dollars Grand Renaissance Dam project on the River Nile and dismissed or arrested many senior officials accused of corruption, torture or murder.
Africa performs badly
The report has classified the sub-Saharan Africa region as the lowest-performing region while western Europe was the highest-scoring region.
Several sub-Saharan countries, including Congo (19), Liberia (28), Madagascar (24), Eritrea (23) and Malawi (31) have significantly declined on the CPI since 2012.
The “performance paints a bleak picture of inaction against corruption”, says the report that claims, with a score of 9, Somalia remains the world’s most corrupt country.
The country’s poor rule of law has created room for everything from “petty bribery to high-level political corruption”, according to TI.
South Sudan (12), Sudan (16) and Equatorial Guinea (16) are the other African nations that are at the bottom of the index.
Seychelles tops regional rank
With a score of 66, the Seychelles earns the highest mark in the region, followed by Botswana (61), Cabo Verde (58), Rwanda (53) and Mauritius (52), acccording to the Index.
“While the Seychelles struggles with issues of money laundering, which is not measured by the CPI, several anti-corruption laws, including a recent access to information law, and a newly established anti-corruption commission have helped strengthen the country’s anti-corruption framework,” it says.
Other significant improvers since 2012 include Cote d’Ivoire (35) and Senegal (45).
The report, however, says both nations still have much work to do.
“The political will demonstrated by the leaders of both countries, which saw a number of key legal, policy and institutional reforms implemented in their early days in office, has been on a backslide since 2016,” it says.