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18.11.2009 Business & Finance

Ghana still as corrupt as a year ago

By Daniel Nonor (Email [email protected])-Ghanaian Chronicle
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Ghana slipped in ranking from 67 to 69, out of 180 countries, but maintained a score of 3.9 out of 10, in the 2009 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) issued by Transparency international (TI) yesterday. A country or territory's CPI score indicates the degree of public sector corruption as perceived by business.

The last time Ghana made an improvement in its ranking on the CPI was in 2007 when it scored 3.7, which placed her at 69 out of 180 countries, as captured in the CPI report.

Highest scorers in the 2009 CPI are New Zealand at 9.4, Denmark at 9.3, Singapore and Sweden tied at 9.2 and Switzerland at 9.0. Whiles Somalia graced the tail of the table, with a score of 1.1, followed by Afghanistan1.3, Myanmar 1.4 and Sudan tied with Iraq at 1.5.

According to the report, when essential institutions are weak or non-existent, corruption spirals out of control and the plundering of public resources feeds insecurity and impunity. It noted that countries at the bottom of the index cannot be shut out from development efforts.

Instead, what the index points to is the need to strengthen their institutions and thus advocated for Investors and donors to be equally vigilant of their operations and as accountable for their own actions as they are in demanding transparency and accountability from beneficiary countries.

“Stemming corruption requires strong oversight by parliaments, a well performing judiciary, independent and properly resourced audit and anti-corruption agencies, vigorous law enforcement, transparency in public budgets, revenue and aid flows, as well as space for independent media and a vibrant civil society. The international community must find efficient ways to help war-torn countries to develop and sustain their own institutions,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International (TI).

“Corrupt money must not find safe haven. It is time to put an end to excuses,” she added. Overall results in the 2009 index are of great concern because corruption continues to lurk where opacity rules, where institutions still need strengthening and where governments have not implemented anti-corruption legal frameworks, the report noted.

Bribery, cartels and other corrupt practices undermine competition and contribute to massive loss of resources for development in all countries, especially the poorest ones. Between 1990 and 2005, more than 283 private international cartels were exposed, and that cost consumers around the world an estimated US $300 billion in overcharges, as documented in a recent TI report.

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