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

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid