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

Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More