Home » Ghana’s Unchanged Battle in Corruption: CPI 2024 Rings Alarm Bells

Ghana’s Unchanged Battle in Corruption: CPI 2024 Rings Alarm Bells

Stagnation in Corruption Fight Calls for Urgent Reforms

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) has cast a spotlight on Ghana, painting a concerning picture of the nation’s ongoing battle against corruption. Released on January 30, 2024, the report ranks Ghana 70th out of 180 countries, indicating no progress in the fight against corruption since 2020.

Ghana’s score of 43 out of a possible 100 has remained unchanged for four consecutive years, reflecting a persistent challenge in curbing corrupt practices. This stagnation places Ghana above 39 other Sub-Saharan African countries, including Burkina Faso, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, and Lesotho. However, it ranks below regional leaders like Mauritius, Namibia, and Sao Tome and Principe.

The CPI 2023, themed “Corruption and Justice,” reveals a mixed landscape of anti-corruption efforts across Africa. While some nations have shown progress, the average score for African countries is a mere 33 out of 100. This low average highlights that 90% of Sub-Saharan African nations score below 50, indicating widespread and deep-rooted corruption issues.

A striking aspect of the report is the correlation between a country’s CPI score and its performance in the Rule of Law Index, published by the World Justice Project. In 2015, Ghana scored 0.60, ranking 34th out of 113 countries in the Rule of Law Index. However, by 2023, the score dropped to 0.55, and the ranking plummeted to 61st out of 139 countries.

TI’s Board Chairman, François Valérian, emphasized the importance of robust justice systems in combating corruption. He argued that as long as justice systems fail to punish wrongdoing effectively and remain susceptible to political interference or purchase, corruption will continue to thrive. Valérian urged leaders to invest in and guarantee the independence of institutions that uphold the law and tackle corruption.

The CPI report underscores a global decline in the effectiveness of justice systems. Countries scoring low on the Rule of Law Index often have poor rankings on the CPI, suggesting a close link between access to justice and the level of corruption. Therefore, strengthening justice systems is crucial in anti-corruption efforts.

In response, Ghana’s Integrity Initiative (GII) recommends several key measures:

  1. The Executive should urgently present the Conduct of Public Officers’ Bill to Parliament, ensuring rigorous provisions for assets declaration with severe sanctions for non-compliance.
  2. The Executive and Legislature must address legal gaps for prosecuting corruption cases outside the current legal framework, including aspects of the UNCAC.
  3. The government must provide the necessary resources and transparency to the justice system for effective prosecution of corruption offenses and establishing checks on power.
  4. Laws that criminalize defamation or allow exorbitant compensation in libel cases should be reformed, enabling the media to investigate and report on corruption without fear.
  5. The Judicial Service should offer limited immunity to judges for judicial duties, excluding corruption or criminal cases, and enhance the Public Relations and Complaint Unit (PRCU) to allow for confidential reporting of suspected breaches.

This CPI report serves as a crucial wake-up call for Ghana, highlighting the need for systemic changes to effectively combat corruption. The recommendations by GII offer a roadmap for these changes, emphasizing the role of legal frameworks, media freedom, and judicial reforms in creating a more transparent and accountable society.

The stagnation in Ghana’s CPI score is more than just a statistic; it’s a reflection of the challenges facing the nation in its quest for good governance and ethical leadership. As Ghana grapples with these issues, the CPI report provides valuable insights and recommendations, guiding the country towards a more transparent and just society.

The fight against corruption in Ghana, as depicted in the CPI report, is not just a national concern but a regional one, affecting Sub-Saharan Africa’s overall stability and progress. The findings underscore the urgency of concerted efforts across governmental, judicial, and civil sectors to foster a culture of accountability and integrity.

In conclusion, Ghana’s unchanged position in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index signals a critical need for renewed focus and effective strategies in the fight against corruption. The intertwining of corruption with justice systems presents a complex challenge, one that demands a multifaceted and robust response from all sectors of society.

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