Ghana has failed to make progress in the fight against corruption in the year 2021 with its score of 43 in the year 2020 remaining the same for 2021, according to the 2021 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) by Transparency International.
Ghana scored 43 out of a possible clean score of 100 and ranked 73 out of 180 countries or territories included in the 2021 index.
The 2021 CPI said the country's current performance was still below 50, which was the expected average, thus "left much to be desired."
The 2021 CPI, the leading global indicator of public sector corruption, focuses on Corruption, Democracy and Human Rights.
A trend analysis of Ghana's CPI scores over the past decade, from 2012 to 2022, shows the country declined by two points.
Ghana's performance vis-a-vis other Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, with an average of 33, the lowest in the world, saw Ghana ranked below 50 with 44 other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Seychelles topped the Region with a CPI score of 70, followed by Cape Verde scoring 58 and Botswana 55 while Equatorial Guinea scored 17, Somalia 13 and South Sudan 11 - the lowest score in the region.
The 2021 index says Botswana scored 55, Lesotho 38, Eswatini 32, Niger 31, Nigeria 24, Comoros 20 and South Sudan 11, all at historic lows.
In the last decade, 43 countries in the region have either declined or made no significant progress.
Since 2012, Botswana had scored a CPI score of 55, Liberia 29, Mali 29 and South Sudan 11 - a significant decline in the CPI.
Only six countries in the region have significantly improved their scores over that period -Seychelles scoring 70, Senegal 43, Ethiopia 39, Tanzania 39, Côte d'Ivoire 36 and Angola 29.
Ghana's score of 43 places it ninth along with Senegal out of 49 Sub-Saharan African countries on the 2021 CPI index.
The CPI global average remains unchanged at 43 for the tenth year in a row, and two-thirds of countries score below 50.
According to Transparency International (TI), corruption enabled both human rights abuses and democratic decline and led to higher levels of corruption, setting off a vicious cycle.
TI further stated that, the global COVID-19 pandemic had opened doors for governments to further expand their executive powers, conceal information from the public and strip away rights.
This year's CPI shows that 154 countries have either declined or made no significant progress in tackling corruption in the last decade with 27 countries at historic lows in their scores.
Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International, speaking to the 2021 CPI, said: "Human rights are not simply a nice-to-have in the fight against corruption. Authoritarian approaches destroy independent checks and balances and make anti-corruption efforts dependent on the whims of an elite."
She said, ensuring people could speak freely and work collectively, hold power to account, was the only sustainable route to a corruption-free society.
TI's research further shows a strong correlation between anti-corruption and respect for human rights, and that a very few countries have managed to establish effective control of corruption without also respecting human rights.
Out of the 23 countries that have significantly declined on the CPI since 2012, the CPI reveals that 19 also declined on their civil liberties score.
This applies in the case of Ghana as the country's score on the Democracy Index has seen a decline between 2015 and 2020 from 6.86 to 6.50 (out of a possible score of 10, a similar decline in the country's CPI scores between the same period.
The report said, although the government was known to have taken some measures to address the canker and abuse of public office, impunity remained a problem.
Transparency International said: "corruption may be a multi-faceted problem, but it is one we know how to solve and end the vicious cycle of corruption, human rights violations and democratic decline."
It, therefore, recommended that governments around the world upheld the rights needed to hold power to account; restore and strengthen institutional checks on power; combat transnational forms of corruption and uphold the right to information in government spending.