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24.01.2020 Press Release

Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019

By Ghana Integrity Initiative
Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019
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The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019 released worldwide this morning by Transparency International (TI) scores and ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. The CPI 2019 draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption giving each country a score from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

CPI 2019 focuses on political integrity and highlights the relationship between politics, money and corruption. By political integrity1, TI means the quality of: (a) contesting and exercising power (political/public office) consistently acting in the public interest, and (b) providing equal, open and meaningful access to the affected stakeholders before arriving at decisions.

“Frustration with government corruption and lack of trust in institutions speak to a need for greater political integrity,” said Delia Ferreira Rubio, Chair of Transparency International. “Governments must urgently address the corrupting role of big money in political party financing and the undue influence it exerts on our political systems.”

More than two-thirds of countries – along with many of the world’s most advanced economies – are stagnating or showing signs of backsliding in their anti-corruption efforts per the CPI 2019 released today by TI.

Global Highlights

In this year’s index, Denmark and New Zealand topped with 87 points each. Syria, South Sudan and Somalia are at the bottom of the index, with 13, 12 and 9 points respectively. The highest scoring region is Western Europe and the European Union, with an average score of 66, while the lowest scoring region is Sub-Saharan Africa with an average score of 32.

More than two-thirds of countries scored below 50, with the global average score of 43. Since 2012, only 22 countries have significantly improved their scores, including Estonia, Greece and Guyana. On the other hand, 21 countries have significantly declined since 2012 including Australia, Canada and Nicaragua.

1 Within the framework of political integrity TI discusses a few dimensions relevant for anti-corruption work, including political finance, lobbying, transparency of the policy-making process, citizen engagement, political pluralism, state capture, etc.

Ghana’s Performance

Ghana scored 41 out of a possible clean score of 100 in the CPI 2019 and ranked 80 out of 180 countries/territories included in this year’s index. This year’s score of 41 shows that Ghana’s score remained the same compared to its CPI 2018 score (41).

The following are Ghana’s CPI scores from 2012 when the scores became comparable:

Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
CPI score 45 46 48 47 43 40 41 41

Ghana’s Performance Vis-a-vis Other Sub-Saharan African Countries

Ghana performed better than 37 other Sub-Saharan African countries including Burkina Faso 40, Lesotho 40, Ethiopia 37, Gambia 37, Tanzania 37, and performed below 9 others:

Seychelles 66 27 1
Botswana 61 34 2
Cabo Verde 58 41 3
Rwanda 53 51 4
Mauritius 52 56 5
Namibia 52 56 5
Sao Tome and Principe 46 64 7
Senegal 45 66 8
South Africa 44 70 9
Benin 41 80 10
Ghana 41 80 10
Burkina Faso 40 85 12
Lesotho 40 85 12
Ethiopia 37 96 14
Gambia 37 96 14
Tanzania 37 96 14

In 2019, while Ghana performed better than Burkina Faso and Lesotho, Ghana could not catch up with countries like South Africa, Senegal, São Tomé and Príncipe, etc. that scored better than Ghana in 2018.

What needs to be done

Reference to the focus of CPI 2019, political integrity, GII recommends the following:

  1. Government must take a critical look at elements that promote public sector corruption including patronage, clientelism, nepotism and suspiciously close ties between politics and business
  2. Government should enforce sanctions against vote buying, abuse of incumbency and threats to voters in order to ensure the 2020 elections are held in a fair and transparent environment
  3. Political parties must demonstrate a high sense of integrity and transparency in all their campaign finances to avoid the snares of ‘political entrepreneurs’
  4. The Electoral Commission should enforce sections 13 and 14 of the Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574) which deal with declaration of assets and expenditure by political parties
  5. Civil society organisations including the media must offer equal opportunities for espousing of ideas, programmes and plans and create platforms to hold duty bearers accountable

Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) is the local chapter of Transparency International (TI), the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption for the last 25 years

About the Corruptions Perceptions Index

Since its inception in 1995, the Corruption Perceptions Index, Transparency International’s flagship research product, has become the leading global indicator of public sector corruption. The index offers an annual snapshot of the relative degree of corruption by ranking countries and territories from all over the globe. In 2012, Transparency International revised the methodology used to construct the index to allow for comparison of scores from one year to the next. For more information, visit