These are the most corrupt countries in Africa


Transparency International has released its 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and business people.

The index makes poor reading from an African perspective with the sub-Saharan Africa ranking as the world’s most corrupt region and two East African nations ranking as the most corrupt countries in the world.

The CPI also illustrates where African nations rank in relation to each other and how much progress has been made in recent years. Based on Transparency International’s data, these are the most corrupt countries in Africa.

The Corruption Perceptions Index 2019

You can access the full Corruption Perceptions Index 2019 report here. Transparency International summarises the findings by saying: “This year’s analysis shows corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals.”

You can also watch a summary of the full report here:

European nations dominate the top-ranking spots with Denmark (1), Finland (3), Sweden (5) and Switzerland (6) all among the top six nations. New Zealand ranks joint first with Denmark and Singapore comes in at fourth place.

Sadly, for African nations, the 2019 CIP index highlights how little progress has been made in improving perceptions of corruption in recent years.

CPI 2019: Corruption in Africa

“As the lowest-scoring region on the CPI, with an average of 32, Sub-Saharan Africa’s performance paints a bleak picture of inaction against corruption,” Transparency International says in its summary of the region.

“With a score of 66, Seychelles earns the highest mark in the region, followed by Botswana (61), Cabo Verde (58), Rwanda (53) and Mauritius (52). At the bottom of the index are Somalia (9), South Sudan (12), Sudan (16) and Equatorial Guinea (16).”

The African countries that have experienced the biggest declines are Congo (19), Liberia (28), Madagascar (24) and Malawi (31).

So which are the most corrupt nations in African, according to the 2019 CPI?

  1. Somalia: The world’s most corrupt nation with a score of 9/100.
  2. South Sudan: The second-most corrupt nation in the world, scoring 12/100.
  3. Sudan: Ranked 173 out of 180 countries with a score of 16/100.
  4. Equatorial Guinea: Joint 173th with Sudan, also scoring 16/100.
  5. Guinea Bissau: Ranked 168 with a score of 18/100.
  6. Libya: Joint 168 with 18/100.
  7. Democratic Republic of the Congo: Joint 168 with 18/100.
  8. Congo: Ranked 165 with a score of 19/100.
  9. Burundi: Joint 168 with 19/100.
  10. Chad: Ranked 162 with a score of 20/100.

Other African nations scoring poorly in the Index include Eritrea (23/100), Zimbabwe (24/100), Madagascar (24/100), Central African Republic (25/100), Liberia (28/100), Guinea (29/100), Mali (29/100) and Togo (29/100).

The highest-scoring African nations in the report are Seychelles (66/100), Botswana (61/100), Cabo Verde (58/100), Rwanda (53), Nambia (52/100) and Mauritius (52/100). All other African nations have scored lower than 50 in the index.

Why does Africa score so poorly in the index?

Transparency International says the study draws a direct link between corruption and the role of big money in developing nations. With regards to the sub-Saharan Africa region, it highlights the role of corruption in politics at the highest level.

“Across the region, money is used to win elections, consolidate power and further personal interests. Although the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption has provisions to prevent corruption and encourage transparency in campaign financing, implementation is weak.”

The organisation highlights seven key factors nations need to overcome in order to reduce corruption:

  1. Manage conflicts of interest
  2. Control political financing
  3. Strengthen electoral integrity
  4. Regulate lobbying activities
  5. Empower citizens
  6. Tackle preferential treatment
  7. Reinforce checks and balances

Above all, Transparency International says corruption will only become manageable once big money is ousted from politics.

“This year, our research highlights the relationship between politics, money and corruption. Keeping big money out of politics is essential to ensuring political decision-making serves the public interest and curbing opportunities for corrupt deals. Countries that perform well on the CPI have strong enforcement of campaign finance regulations.”

Featured image: Transparency International

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.