TANZANIA is among the least corrupt countries in the region, according to the global corruption index released yesterday.
The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International (TI) places Tanzania at position 99 out of 180 countries ranked in the index.
This is equivalent to 36 points amassed by the East African nation, in the index by the global corruption watchdog.
Tanzania is only behind its East African neighbour Rwanda which scored 56 points out of a possible 100, ranking 48 in the index that draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories, giving each a score from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
The index indicates that Tanzania is now witnessing a sharp decline in graft levels.
The East African nation's performance in the index comes as no surprise, as since assuming the top most office in 2015, President John Pombe Magufuli has been on the forefront in his anti-corruption efforts that has resulted in the sacking of several civil servants who allegedly forged academic certificates, and the arrest of key players involved in the economic scandal, moves viewed by many as a sign of progress in his agenda to address corruption.
TI however cautions that the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis of democracy around the world.
"With many democratic institutions under threat across the globe - often by leaders with authoritarian or populist tendencies - we need to do more to strengthen checks and balances and protect citizens' rights," said Patricia Moreira, TI Managing Director.
South Sudan, the world's youngest nation has been ranked as the most corrupt country in East Africa, accumulating a mere 13 points, tailing the region at number 149.
Following closely is Burundi which also features among the bottom ten most corrupt countries, collecting 17 points at number 170.
Kenya comes third at number 144, amassing a total of 27 points out of a possible 100, while Uganda scored 26 points and ranks position 149.
Denmark and New Zealand top the Index with 88 and 87 points, respectively. Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria are at the bottom of the index, with 10, 13 and 13 points, respectively.
"Our research makes a clear link between having a healthy democracy and successfully fighting public sector corruption.
"Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage," added Delia Ferreira Rubio, TI chairperson.