11 July 2019

Ghana: Corruption Getting Worse in Africa

Photo: Corruption Watch
An anti-corruption billboard.

More than half of all citizens surveyed in 35 countries across the African Continent think that corruption is getting worse in their respective countries, while less than quarter perceived that the fight against corruption is getting better, according to the Global Corruption Barometer in collaboration with Afro barometer.

The Report, which was released Thursday, July 11, 2019 shows that more than one in four people who accessed public services such as healthcare and education, paid bribe in the previous year.

That, according to the report is equivalent to 130 million people across the region as per the sampling of 47, 000 citizens in 35 countries.

The report also highlighted that corruption disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, with the poorest paying bribes twice as often as the richest, while young people pay more bribe than those over 55 years.

The survey found among other things that corruption is on the rise and many governments are failing to do enough, whereas concerns about the integrity of public officials remain high. It further found that Bribery demands are regular occurrence for many.

Addressing the media at the launch of the Report in Accra, Mrs Mary Awelana Addah, Programmes Manager of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII),a Local Chapter of Transparency International explained that in Ghana, the focus area of the survey included the bribery rates, changes in the level of corruption, participation of ordinary people in the fight against corruption, corruption by institutions and whether government is doing good or bad job of fighting corruption.

Regarding Citizens perception by Institutions, Mr Addah said 59 percent of the respondent perceive the Ghana Police Service to be the most corrupt institution followed by judges and magistrates 38 percent and Government Officials were third with 35 percent.

Parliament and members of Parliament were cited as the fourth most corrupt institution in Ghana according to 32 percent of the people surveyed.

She told the media that getting citizens to report persons to the appropriate authorities has been very difficult in spite of the passage of laws that guarantee protection and rewards proactive reporting.

She indicated that 60 percent of citizens surveyed said government was doing a good job with the fight against corruption while 30 percent thought government is not doing well.

"It is worthy of mention that 60 percent of respondents believe ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption," she added.

The GII per the revelations in the Report recommended that the state must intensify its efforts in the fight against corruption by adequately resourcing the key anti-corruption institutions to discharge their mandate. It also recommended that the Office of the Special Prosecutor should fast track investigations and prosecutions of many corruption cases pending and also make the public aware per section 3(3) of the Act establishing the Office of the Special Prosecutor as the level of confidence in the Office is gradually waning.

It added that the state should wean itself of the growing phenomenon of attacks on media personalities to allow the media to effectively hold policy accountable and provide the sources for and platform for civil society to hold their duty bearers accountable.

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