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General News | Jun 12, 2004

Ghana: Moderate rating in the Public Integrity Index

The Center for Public Integrity

Ghana gets a "moderate" rating in the Public Integrity Index, which tracks corruption, openness and accountability in 25 countries. This peer-reviewed country report includes a timeline covering corruption over the past one to two decades, a reporter's notebook on the culture of corruption and an assessment of the six main integrity categories. The integrity scorecard lists the full set of integrity indicators with scores, commentary and references. Corruption Notebook In many cases, the unwritten rule of corruption in Ghana is chop, but chop big. For the uninitiated, chop is pidgin English for "eat," so if you're going to be corrupt, the thinking goes, take huge sums of money.

In a country where the daily minimum wage was raised almost 30 percent in 2003 to 9,200 cedis (about US$1), many non-professional workers earn US$55 to US$110 a month—hardly enough for a family to survive on, given typical monthly expenditures: rent (for a one-bedroom flat), US$17; utilities, US$15; transportation to and from work, US$15; and monthly food bills of $110, which totals US$157. As a result, many Ghanaians do not regard "little" corruption stories worthy of media scrutiny or prosecution. They are just trying to make ends meet. >> Integrity Assessment Since January 2001, the government in Ghana has shown itself to be genuinely determined to rule as a constitutional, liberal democratic government. There is respect for constitutional, legal and moral limits to its power and authority, fundamental rights of the individual and corporate citizen enshrined in the 1992 Ghana Constitution, and the rule of law. In this regard, it is not surprising that the government was one of the first to volunteer to be assessed under the African Peer Review Mechanism of the New Partnership for African Development. It has been willing to put under international scrutiny the extent of its adherence to the norms and principles of good political and economic governance. >>

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