President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has welcomed the 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, published by Transparency International, which shows that Liberia has climbed up 16 points, from 91st position to 75th in the last year.
This improvement means that Liberia is now ranked as the third least corrupt country in West Africa, behind Cape Verde and Ghana. Liberia scored 41 points out of 100, up from 32 points in 2011 and 22 in 2005, and is now ranked 75 out of 176 countries, just below Ghana, at 64. Liberia's 2012 score placed it on par with Italy and China, and significantly higher than India or Greece.
President Sirleaf expressed her pleasure at the news of Liberia's progress, saying the TI Report will augur well for Liberia's team in Washington that is arguing for Compact Status for Liberia, under the Millennium Challenge Account. "This is good news for the team, good news for the country."
The President noted that the improvement in perception reflects government's actions to build strong institutions, make more information available to citizens, and deal robustly with reported incidents of corruption. She thanked all those who had worked hard to make this possible, including the Ministry of Justice, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission, the Ministry of Finance, and more.
This outcome is the result of these bodies being tough on compliance by government entities, the President said, and added, "I take pride in the fact that they were tough because now we see that it was for a good reason." However, the Liberian leader stressed that much more needs to be done, and she exhorted citizens to remain vigilant against corruption at every level.
Transparency International, based in Berlin, Germany, is a non-governmental organization that campaigns against corruption worldwide. Its Corruption Perceptions Index is based on surveys carried out each year by international organizations, banks and consulting firms. It does not seek to measure corruption directly, but is a strong indicator of how investors view the country.
The least corrupt countries, according to the 2012 Index, are: Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden and Singapore. Among the least corrupt countries in Africa are: Botswana, Cape Verde, Ghana, South Africa and Sao Tome & Principe. The most corrupt countries on the Index are: Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan.
The Corruption Perceptions Index scores countries on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). While no country has a perfect score, two-thirds of countries score below 50.