President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has welcomed the 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index published by Transparency International showing that the country has climbed up 16 points, from 91st position to 75th in the last year.
An Executive Mansion release issued in Monrovia Wednesday said "This improvement means that Liberia is now ranked as the third least corrupt country in West Africa, behind Cape Verde and Ghana."
Quoting from the Transparency International's (TI's) report, the Executive Mansion said 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," the release said.
President Sirleaf expressed 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.
President Sirleaf sees the development as good news for the team as well as for the country, saying 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, among others.
The Liberian leader has 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, among others.
"This outcome is the result of these bodies being tough on compliance by government entities; I take pride in the fact that they were tough because now we see that it was for a good reason, said President Sirleaf.
However, the Liberian leader stressed that much more needs to be done, while exhorting citizens to remain vigilant against corruption at every level. TI's 2012 report showed that the least corrupt countries are Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Sweden and Singapore.
The report further lists Botswana, Cape Verde, Ghana, South Africa and Sao Tome & Principe as the least corrupt countries in Africa, while Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan are recorded as the most corrupt countries on the Index.
The Corruption Perceptions Index scores countries on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). At least no country has a perfect score, as two-thirds of countries score below 50.
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. TI does not seek to measure corruption directly, but is a strong indicator of how investors view the country.