It was not a good year for improvements on corruption anywhere in the world, according to the 2021 annual report released by Transparency International on Tuesday.
Overall, the Corruption Perceptions Index report shows that 86% of the world’s nations are either losing control in the fight against corruption or remain unchanged, when measured over the last decade.
Sub-Saharan Africa was notably troubled in 2021, with the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflict and terror threats adding to what Transparency International called a “turbulent” year.
“These worrying trends exacerbate the serious corruption problems that exist from long before,” said the global organization based in Germany. “To keep corruption out of the public eye, governments across the region have limited information and cracked down on independent voices calling out abuses of power.”
The Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles, along with Cabo Verde and Botswana, had the highest African rankings on the new index. Equatorial Guinea, Somalia and South Sudan were among the worst performers on corruption.
Among the countries with lower rankings but promising trends in their anti-corruption efforts are Ethiopia, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania and Senegal. Despite its overall high ranking, Botswana showed signs of decline, as did Liberia.
“Unresolved corruption allegations and a persistent culture of impunity are among the key concerns,” said TI on Liberia. “Inadequate resourcing of anti-graft institutions and a weak judiciary continue to undermine the fight against corruption in the West African nation.”
Among North African states, Libya was again among the worst on corruption efforts. Tunisia has lost ground, the report said, while both Egypt and Morocco demonstrate the links between corrupt governments and the human rights violations within their borders.