Corruption Perceptions Index 2016: Rwanda keeps the same score as in 2015, comes again among the 5 least corrupt countries in Africa, but loses some ranks at the global level

Kigali, 25 January 2017 – CPI 2016 showed that around the world systemic corruption and social inequality reinforce each other, leading to popular disenchantment with political establishments and providing a fertile ground for the rise of populist politicians.

 69 per cent of the 176 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 scored below 50, on a scale from 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean), exposing how massive and pervasive public sector corruption is around the world. This year more countries declined in the index than improved, showing the need for urgent action.

 “In too many countries, people are deprived of their most basic needs and go to bed hungry every night because of corruption, while the powerful and corrupt enjoy lavish lifestyles with impunity,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.

“We do not have the luxury of time. Corruption needs to be fought with urgency, so that the lives of people across the world improve,” added Ugaz.

The results

 The Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 covers perceptions of public sector corruption in 176 countries.

Denmark and New Zealand perform best with scores of 90, closely followed by Finland (89) and Sweden (88). Although no country is free of corruption, the countries at the top share characteristics of open government, press freedom, civil liberties and independent judicial systems.

For the tenth year running, Somalia is the worst performer on the index, this year scoring only 10. South Sudan is second to bottom with a score of 11, followed by North Korea (12) and Syria (13). Countries at the bottom of the index are characterized by widespread impunity for corruption, poor governance and weak institutions.

In the Sub-Saharan Africa, Botswana took the top followed by Cape Verde, Mauritius and Rwanda sharing the third position.

Rwanda maintained its 2015 score of 54. Nevertheless, it lost some ranks at the global level (from 44 down to 50). New countries from Caribbean which scored better than Rwanda have been added to the ranking in this year’s edition. Furthermore, a new source of data, Varieties of Democracy (VDEM) Project 2016 was as well introduced in the Rwanda scoring, taking from 5 to six source of data for CPI 2016 for Rwanda.

Same as last year, Rwanda emerged again the least corrupt country in the East African Community, followed by Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Burundi.

Keeping the same score would mean that we kept the same efforts in the fight. We recognize that anti-corruption actions kept on the top of government priorities. However, we need more efforts to attain our goal of zero corruption in our country. Unfortunately, Citizens are still reluctant to report corruption, thus, the need to be mobilized more”, said the Chairperson of Transparency International Rwanda, Ingabire Marie Immaculée.

Countries in troubled regions, particularly in the Middle East, have seen the most substantial drops this year. Qatar is the biggest decliner compared to the 2015 index with a drop of 10 scores.

 The FIFA scandals, the investigations into the decision to host the World Cup in 2022 in Qatar and reports of human rights abuses for migrant workers have clearly affected the perception of the country,” said Ugaz.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is based on expert opinions on public sector corruption. CPI 2016 is the 21st edition since the report was started in 1995. Countries’ scores can be helped by open government where the public can hold leaders to account, while a poor score is a sign of prevalent bribery, lack of punishment for corruption and public institutions that don’t respond to citizens’ needs.

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