2022 Corruption Perceptions Index reveals vicious cycle of corruption, violence and instability across Sub-Saharan Africa
Just four countries score better than 50 out of 100
Berlin, 31 January 2023 – The 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released today by Transparency International shows a dire situation in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most countries have failed to make progress against corruption, with levels stagnating and 90 per cent of countries in the region scoring below 50.
Yet corruption isn’t the only obstacle facing the region – it's also one of the least peaceful regions in the world according to the Global Peace Index. This isn’t a coincidence: corruption and conflict exacerbate each other in a vicious cycle, so countries in conflict become more corrupt and corruption then fuels conflict. The Central African Republic (24), Sudan (22), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (20), South Sudan (13) and Somalia (12) are five of the ten least peaceful countries globally and rank in the bottom 30 countries of the entire CPI.
Samuel Kaninda, Africa Regional Advisor of Transparency International said:
“Right now, people across the African continent are facing difficulties from every direction – with food shortages, rising living costs, an ongoing pandemic and numerous ongoing conflicts. Yet despite the role it plays in fuelling every one of these crises, most governments in the region continue to neglect anti-corruption efforts. Africans need their leaders to go beyond words and commitments and take bold, decisive action to root out pervasive corruption at this key moment – or the situation will only continue to deteriorate.”
SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA HIGHLIGHTS
The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
The Sub-Saharan Africa average remains the lowest in the world, dropping a point this year to 32.
- Seychelles (70) tops the region, with Cabo Verde and Botswana both distant runners-up at 60.
- Burundi (17), Equatorial Guinea (17), South Sudan (13) and Somalia (12) score lowest in the region.
- Lesotho (37), Eswatini (30), Gabon (29), Liberia (26) and Comoros (19) are all at historic lows this year.
- Since 2017, only Angola (33) has significantly improved on the CPI.
For each country’s individual score and changes over time, as well as analysis for the region, see the region’s 2022 CPI page.
CORRUPTION, CONFLICT AND SECURITY
High levels of corruption leave governments weak, without resources or public support and unable to prevent conflict at a time when people across the continent are struggling to deal with the impacts of the pandemic and increasing costs of living. In turn, violence and instability – which plague many countries in the region, from military coups to extremism, terror and crime – further fuel corruption.
- In the Sahel region, ongoing violence fuels instability and facilitates corruption. Terrorist groups have gained support in part by exploiting public discontent with governments – especially calling out corruption. The ongoing conflict has sparked multiple coups, with two in Burkina Faso (42) just in 2022 and one in Mali (28) the previous year. This authoritarian military control in turn allows space for corruption to fester.
- After decades of conflict, South Sudan (13) is in a major humanitarian crisis with more than half of the population facing acute food insecurity – and corruption exacerbating the situation. A report from investigative policy organisation Sentry last year revealed that a massive fraud scheme by a network of corrupt politicians with ties to the president’s family siphoned off aid for food, fuel and medicine.
- Violence by illegal armed groups continues to plague the Democratic Republic of the Congo (20). Corruption among public officials allows such groups to plunder the natural resources of the country, funding their brutality and leaving the government without resources and the people without basic necessities.
- Somalia (12) is at the bottom of the CPI, and continually ranks as one of the least peaceful countries in the world. For three decades, violence and instability have decimated the country, leaving many Somalis in dire humanitarian conditions. Corruption is rampant, yet public officials continue to ignore the problem, as newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud dissolved two key anti-corruption bodies in October.
Transparency International calls on governments to prioritise anti-corruption commitments, reinforcing checks and balances, upholding rights to information and limiting private influence to finally rid the world of corruption – and the violence it brings.
Daniel Eriksson, Chief Executive Officer of Transparency International, said:
“The good news is that leaders can fight corruption and promote peace all at once. Governments must open up space to include the public in decision-making – from activists and business owners to marginalised communities and young people. In democratic societies, the people can raise their voices to help root out corruption and demand a safer world for us all.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
The media page includes the CPI 2022 report, as well as the full dataset and methodology, international press release and additional analysis for Sub-Saharan Africa in English and French. See here: https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2022/media-kit.
In case of country-specific queries, please contact Transparency International’s national chapters.
In case of queries around regional and global findings, please contact the Transparency International Secretariat: [email protected].
ABOUT THE CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX
Since its inception in 1995, the Corruption Perceptions Index has become the leading global indicator of public sector corruption. The Index scores 180 countries and territories around the world based on perceptions of public sector corruption, using data from 13 external sources, including the World Bank, World Economic Forum, private risk and consulting companies, think tanks and others. The scores reflect the views of experts and business people.
The process for calculating the CPI is regularly reviewed to make sure it is as robust and coherent as possible, most recently by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in 2017. All the CPI scores since 2012 are comparable from one year to the next. For more information, see this article: The ABCs of the CPI: How the Corruption Perceptions Index is calculated.