The Centre for Democracy and Socio-economic Development (CDS) Africa has noted with concern Transparency International's 2022 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report, published on January 31, 2023. Ghana, known as an African democracy exemplar, received a score of 43 on the CPI. Ghana scored 43 on the CPI ranking in 2020 and 2021, respectively. According to the report, Ghana's efforts to combat corruption have stalled.
The CPI has grown as the most crucial global indicator of corruption in the public sector since its launch in 1995. Using information from 13 external sources, including the World Bank, World Economic Forum, private risk and consultancy organizations, think tanks, and others, the Index assigns ratings to 180 nations and territories based on perceptions of public sector corruption.
Corruption poses a significant risk to Ghana's economic development. Economic inequality is made worse by corruption, with a one-unit rise in corruption resulting a 0.15 to 1.5 per cent decline in GDP per capita. Petty corruption, in particular, impacts citizens' perceptions of corruption in a country because it interferes with their daily lives and undermines public trust in democratic processes, government legitimacy, and state institutions.
Until 2012, the CPI was computed between 0 to 10, with a lower value of 0 indicating a high level of corruption, while a higher score value indicated a lower level of corruption. At that time, Ghana's average score was 4.1, which was recorded in 2010 (see Figure 2 in the attachment). Since the methodology of the CPI changed in 2012, where countries are now ranked based on a score of 0 to 100, Ghana's average score has not changed significantly, obtaining only 48% in 2014.
It is worrying, that since 2000 when the CPI report was launched, Ghana's score has always been below average, and this leaves much to ponder about as a nation. With the cognizance of this abysmal trajectory, CDS Africa makes the following advocacy demands and recommendations to improve Ghana's CPI score:
- That Ghana's strategy for combating corruption should include a proactive framework for foreseeing and managing corruption risks. To minimize potential corruption risks, a thorough review of every possible project and contract is required within the public sector.
- Government and political influence should not be allowed in state agencies that the law requires to identify and punish corruption cases. To strengthen monitoring, the government must ensure that public complaint procedures are incorporated into projects and contracts.
- Corruption prevention should become a strategic tenet of our Governance system. To mitigate corruption, deterrence is of great essence. Such a measure would send a strong message to potential wrongdoers about the latent consequences of their misbehavior and inaction.
- The government needs to establish a system that rewards appropriate behavior and penalizes corrupt conduct in the public sector.
- All citizens must understand they have a role to play in the fight against corruption. Citizens and public sector workers must immediately report any suspicions of bribery or corruption to mandated agencies and institutions.
Figure 1: Ghana’s CPI performance from 2012 to 2022
Figure 2: CPI score from 2000 to 2011
Key: Higher score value means lower level of corruption.
Dr. Frank Bannor
Senior Research & Policy Analyst
Dr. Abena Boateng
Director of Research
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