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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs