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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
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 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 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.

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