Sub-Saharan Africa: Achieving ‘the Africa we want’ starts with the rule of law

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View the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index results

Sub-Saharan Africa faced a myriad of threats in 2015, from the Ebola epidemic to rising terrorism. Again and again we saw corruption exacerbate the causes of crises, and undermine the response. This year’s index presents a worrying picture – with 40 of 46 countries showing a serious corruption problem and no improvement for continent powerhouses Nigeria and South Africa. Indicators for rule of law and justice score particularly badly. While some governments are reducing risks for business, there’s little change for citizens – as systemic corruption leaves many countries struggling to uphold basic rule of law.

Systemic corruption is leaving many countries struggling to uphold basic rule of law.

The good

Progress is possible. Looking at the different areas covered by the index, we can see particular improvement around transparency in financial management – good news for the companies operating in the region. Overall a number of countries have all improved in recent years, notably Senegal, which has risen significantly since the government introduced a series of anti-corruption measures. Regional high-performer Botswana scores 63 out of 100 in the index. As the new Sustainable Development Goals act as a catalyst for strengthening governance, there’s hope other countries could follow.

The bad

But corruption continues to deny citizens justice and security. As conflict-ridden Somalia lands at the bottom of the index again, many other countries are let down by a failure to uphold rule of law. Reinforcing our African public survey – which found police and courts have the highest rates of bribery – law enforcement isn’t always working to protect citizens. In many countries, including low-scorers Angola, Burundi and Uganda, we’re seeing a failure to prosecute corrupt public officials on the one hand, and intimidation of citizens who speak out against corruption on the other.

If corruption and impunity are to “be a thing of the past” as stated by the African Union … governments need to take bold steps to ensure rule of law is the reality for everyone.

What needs to happen

If corruption and impunity are to “be a thing of the past” as stated by the African Union in Agenda 2063, “The Africa We Want”, governments need to take bold steps to ensure rule of law is the reality for everyone. Prosecuting corruption will restore faith among people who no longer believe in the institutions that are supposed to protect them. Transparency and accountability must go hand in hand when tackling corruption – as these results show, this is still far from the norm in Africa.

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Chantal Uwimana

About Chantal Uwimana

Chantal Uwimana is Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa at Transparency International.

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7 Responses to Sub-Saharan Africa: Achieving ‘the Africa we want’ starts with the rule of law

  1. shaadeel 28 January 2016 at 6:00 am #

    excuse these actually very well job to human in world i encourage you to wo4k like i have only one question
    ()can you shaw me the ways that you are made the research in somalia)
    in what methodology

  2. shaadeel 28 January 2016 at 6:03 am #

    sorry typical errors unfortuanitly i can not edit
    my question is
    (can you shaw me the way you do these research in 2015 3specially somalia)

  3. Isidore Mbianda 28 January 2016 at 7:14 am #

    Commendable moves to fight corruption at global level but we are suffering locally and feelingthe direct impact of corruption. I live in Bamenda, Cameroon where the road repair money is being swindled by corrupt government and party officials on regular basis. We are suffering, corruption is murdering us please help. The pain is deep, intermittent water and light supply, horrible urban roads, police extortion, etc.. Cameroon is hard ,that’s why everyone is coerced to camp in the ruling Cpdm party to hide.
    Let’s create local whistle blowing bodies /affiliates to report and name shame these practices .please help save us from this political imprisonment

  4. Mariana Sosa Cordero 28 January 2016 at 3:07 pm #

    Hi Isidore, thank you for your comment. If you have witnessed ongoing corruption and wish to report it, we have a TI chapter in Cameroon who you can contact. They offer free legal advice there, here is their website:

  5. Mariana Sosa Cordero 28 January 2016 at 3:13 pm #

    Hi Shaadeel, you can find the methodologies here: you can download the file with all the data and explanations of how the results were found.

  6. Kesete 28 January 2016 at 7:25 pm #

    I can not but laugh at this report, becouse Eritrea which should be placed as number one when it comes to corruption free societies, placed somewhere down. The main Point is , what the Eritrean people Thinks. We don’t care much about what corrupted organizations as Transparency International have to say.
    Kesete Mekonen

  7. Howard Douglas 1 February 2016 at 7:47 am #

    Dear all.
    I have experienced the corruption in Uganda having spent 27 months in the country and never prepared to bribe or be bribed to do anything I needed to do. Off course it goes without saying that I got nothing done. I am trying to see whether the Serious Fraud Office in London is interested un learning of my experiences, because the only way this corruption will stiop is to ban trade with them – regardless of any consequences thatmay be cited.