News / Africa

Somalia, N. Korea, Afghanistan Lead Corrupt State Index

Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan Head List Of Corrupt Statesi
X
December 03, 2013 5:59 AM
Somalia is the most corrupt state in the world, according to the latest index compiled by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog, Transparency International. The group polled thousands of people in 177 countries about their perception of corruption. The results revealed strong progress in some African states but high levels of bribery and abuse of power in conflict-ridden countries like Syria and Afghanistan. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Somalia, North Korea, Afghanistan Head List Of Corrupt States
Henry Ridgwell
Somalia is the most corrupt state in the world, according to the latest index compiled by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International. The group polled thousands of people in 177 countries about their perception of corruption. The results revealed strong progress in some African states but high levels of bribery and abuse of power in conflict-ridden countries like Syria and Afghanistan.
 
Somalia, Afghanistan and North Korea each scored just eight points out of 100 in Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, where a score of 100 corresponds to a total lack of corruption. The report's release on Tuesday came just a day after lawmakers in Mogadishu voted to oust the Somali government following a power struggle over allegations of favoritism and clan politics. Somalia’s government is also battling an insurgency by Islamist al-Shabab militants.
Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The worst performers are usually countries undergoing conflict, said Robert Barrington, executive director of Transparency International.
 
“You find a closing down of the transparency in government and, in particular, you find a complete lack of accountability. The institutions of the state start to dissolve. And it’s the citizens that suffer,” said Barrington.
 
Barrington also pointed out the importance of law enforcement in perceptions of corruption.
 
“In some countries, in most countries, you would hope that when you go to the police, they are your allies in the fight against crime. But in many countries, you actually find they are your enemies in the fight against crime. They are themselves the criminals,” said Barrington.
 
Barrington also pointed out that there were some positive stories in this year’s survey.
 
“Rwanda is a particularly interesting one because it did perform quite poorly for a number of years, but there’s been a concerted government effort to tackle corruption, and that’s now reaping rewards,” said Barrington.
 
Most Corrupt Countries:
-Somalia
-North Korea
-Afghanistan
-Sudan
-South Sudan
-Libya

Source: Transparency International
Syria, with a protracted civil war, has slipped further down the corruption index. It's now 10th from the bottom. Iraq - also witnessing a surge in violence - is also in the bottom ten, as is Afghanistan.

Ukraine ranked 144th on the index, one of the worst scores for its region, which included Europe, Russia and most of the former Soviet states. In recent days, anti-government protesters have taken to the streets trying to force new elections.
 
Least Corrupt Countries:
-Denmark
-New Zealand
-Finland
-Sweden
-Norway
-Singapore

Source: Transparency International
Just a decade ago, Liberia was racked by civil war. Now the economy is booming, with GDP growing more than 10 percent in 2012. Liberia came in 83rd out of 177 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. That is good compared to much of Africa, but some analysts say corruption is still holding the country back.
 
Robtel Pailey wrote a children’s book about corruption titled Gbagba, or "Trickery." She's a Liberian national and a scholar at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies, and said that the younger generations must be made aware that corruption should not be tolerated.
 
“In the private sector, it happens in the markets. It happens in the schools; it happens in government. So I would argue certainly that it’s entrenched, and I think this is a common phenomenon, that people accept as being entrenched," said Pailey.
 
Pailey thinks cutting corruption will require a change in mindset.
 
“I think in many ways Liberians think of corruption as about a way to get ahead of the system, a way to bypass the system," explained Pailey.
 
The best performers in the 2013 Index were New Zealand and Denmark; Scandinavian countries consistently among the least corrupt. The United States came in 19th.

You May Like

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs