News / Africa

Somalia Designated as World's Most Corrupt Country

Somalia is the most corrupt country in the world, according to Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index.  With Afghanistan and Iraq also near the bottom, the group says conflict and corruption often go hand in hand.

Transparency International's index lists 178 countries, with Somalia designated the most corrupt nation.  Its closest competitors at the bottom of the list are Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Iraq.

Transparency International's Shantal Uwimana says conflict is a major contributing factor in the spread of corruption.  "Countries where there is a level of political, social, and economic instability, corruption tends to find a fertile ground," he said.

The index is composed of surveys conducted between January 2009 and September 2010.  It is based on perceptions of corruption in the public sector, rather than concrete measures.

Countries are scored on a scale of zero through 10, with zero the most corrupt.  Transparency International says three-quarters of countries scored below five.  That, it says, is a sign that corruption remains a major global problem.

Uwimana says it is the world's poorest countries that are worst hit by corruption.  But she says wealthier countries are also at risk - and a number have slipped in the ranks this year. "You realize countries like Greece, Italy and the USA, where compared to the score they had in previous years, you can see that the situation has worsened," he said.

The United States has fallen out of the top 20 least corrupt countries.  It is in 22nd position, behind Qatar and Chile.

Transparency International U.S. chief Nancy Boswell says political funding disputes, the sub-prime mortgage crisis, and the disclosure of Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme were factors in the perception that corruption levels in the United States have gone up.

Uwimana says increased corruption in some countries, such as Greece, may in part be due to the global financial crisis.

She says corruption affects every sphere of society all over the world - from coping with climate change to eradicating poverty.  She says plans to improve the lives of people around the world cannot succeed if corruption remains at the heart of the public sector.

She says the U.N. Millennium Development Goals are an example of where corruption must be wiped out. "When you look at the goal for achieving universal education you realize that bad governance and corruption is a key element in the fact that we are not able to achieve the goals, because resources that are allocated, for example to the education sector, are then diverted for other use," he said.

Denmark, New Zealand, and Singapore were seen as the least corrupt countries, each scoring more than nine points.  The 2010 report is the 15th Transparency International has published.  It is used by governments and the business community to track investment climates around the world.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid