News / Africa

Botswana Again Wins Title as Africa’s Least Corrupt Nation

Botswana supporters cheer on their team during an African Cup of Nations soccer match in Libreville, Gabon, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012.
Botswana supporters cheer on their team during an African Cup of Nations soccer match in Libreville, Gabon, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012.
Anita Powell
The southern African nation of Botswana has again captured the title of Africa’s least corrupt nation, according to an annual report by watchdog Transparency International.  A spokesman for Botswana's anti-corruption agency says the mineral-rich nation has worked hard to keep its hands clean.  
 
Transparency International’s map of Africa is mostly shaded in intense oranges and reds, with the darkest red signaling perceptions of deep-seated corruption. 
 
It is hardly a surprise that war-torn Somalia bottoms out the list, along with Afghanistan and North Korea.  The Horn of Africa nation hasn’t had a functioning government for more than two decades. 
 
Transparency International, Sub-Saharan Africa regionTransparency International, Sub-Saharan Africa region
x
Transparency International, Sub-Saharan Africa region
Transparency International, Sub-Saharan Africa region
But in that sunset-colored map of Africa, Botswana stands out as is the lone splash of yellow on the continent.  It’s nearly the same sunny shade as Spain and the United States, though not as bright as Norway and Australia. 
 
Lentswe Motshoganetsi, a spokesman for Botswana’s anti-corruption agency, says the government has made a concerted effort to educate citizens about corruption and prosecute cases of corruption. 
 
“We’ve done a lot, and then even our prosecution rate is high by international standards.  I want to believe that those are some of the issues, or some of the areas that Transparency International looks into when they do their listing, or their findings," he said. 
 
Motshoganetsi says protecting against corruption is important for a small and resource-rich nation like Botswana.  The nation has great mineral wealth, including diamonds, which has been a cause of corruption and violence in nations like Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
 
“Corruption can cause civil wars between a country like this; corruption can annihilate all the assets the country has made.  So it is important that we have the checks and balances through the anti-corruption agency, which we can make sure that will prolong these minerals, or the wealth, that this country is currently standing on," he said. 
 
Transparency Corruption Index 2012Transparency Corruption Index 2012
x
Transparency Corruption Index 2012
Transparency Corruption Index 2012
The five least corrupt African nations have one thing in common: they are all small in population.  Botswana has just two million people. 
 
Botswana has also been ruled by one party since its independence in 1966, which has led some to criticize its shining reputation. 
 
Indigenous rights watchdog Survival International has also criticized the government and says it has harassed and unfairly treated the indigenous San people. 
 
Motshoganetsi, as a spokesman for the anti-corruption agency, said he couldn’t speak about governance issues.  But he agreed that Botswana has more work to do. 
 
African population centers fared worse in the Transparency International report: South Africa, for instance, scored a mediocre 43 rating.  This is a country that sees regular corruption scandals, including a possible investigation into the president for alleged government-funded improvements to his country home. 
 
Zimbabwe pulled southern Africa’s lowest score and fell nine places from its already poor ranking last year. Rights groups have reported a rise in political violence, likely committed by the ruling party, in recent months.  
 
Botswana may be an African leader, with a score of 65 to Somalia’s dismal eight.  But it has a way to go before it reaches the top of the class, where Denmark, Finland and New Zealand tied for first place with a squeaky-clean score of 90. 
 

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid