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Corruption Perceptions Index: Ghana scores 43, makes no progress since 2020

In the recently released Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International, Ghana has been ranked 70th out of 180 countries in terms of corruption. The country maintained a score of 43 out of a possible 100, unchanged since 2020.

Corruption Perceptions Index: Ghana scores 43, makes no progress since 2020

Within Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana outperformed 39 other nations, including Burkina Faso (41), South Africa (41), Côte d'Ivoire (40), Tanzania (40), and Lesotho (39). However, it lagged behind seven countries in the region, such as Mauritius (51), Namibia (49), and Sao Tome and Principe (45).

The CPI reveals a diverse landscape of anti-corruption efforts across Africa. While some nations have shown notable progress, the majority still grapple with widespread corruption. The average score for African countries remains low at 33 out of 100, with 90% of Sub-Saharan African nations scoring below 50.

The 2023 CPI, themed "Corruption and Justice," indicates that Ghana's stagnant score aligns with a global trend of faltering justice systems, creating an environment conducive to corruption.

The link between Ghana's CPI score and its performance in the Rule of Law Index, published by the World Justice Project, is particularly notable. In 2015, Ghana scored 0.60 on the Rule of Law Index, ranking 34th out of 113 countries. However, by 2023, the country's score dropped to 0.55, and its ranking fell to 61st out of 139 countries.

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François Valérian, the Board Chairman of Transparency International, emphasized that corruption persists until justice systems can effectively punish wrongdoing and hold governments accountable. He stated, "When justice is bought or politically interfered with, it is the people who suffer."

The Rule of Law Index indicates a global decline in the functionality of justice systems, with countries scoring low on the index also performing poorly on the CPI. This correlation underscores the vital relationship between access to justice and levels of corruption, suggesting that improvements in the former could lead to advancements in the latter.

In response to these findings, the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has recommended specific actions to address weaknesses in the justice system and enhance anti-corruption efforts:

  1. Urgent steps to present the Conduct of Public Officers’ Bill in Parliament, with provisions on assets declaration requiring verification and severe sanctions for non-compliance.
  2. Steps to bridge legal gaps for the prosecution of selected corruption cases outside the current legal framework, including unexplained wealth, influence peddling, and aspects of the UNCAC.
  3. Providing the justice system with the necessary resources and transparency to effectively punish corruption offences and provide checks and balances on power.
  4. Reforming laws that criminalize defamation or give judges discretion to award crippling compensation in libel cases to encourage media investigation and reporting of suspected criminality.
  5. Instituting limited immunity for judges in matters related to judicial duties while excluding immunity in corruption or criminal cases.
  6. Expanding, strengthening, and increasing public knowledge of the Public Relations and Complaint Unit (PRCU) of the Judicial Services to ensure a confidential and rigorous whistleblower policy for reporting suspected breaches.

Ghana faces the challenge of addressing these recommendations to fortify its justice system and combat corruption effectively.

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