Nearly 1 in 3 paid a bribe in Middle East and North Africa in past 12 months

New Transparency International report shows MENA governments failing to stop corruption as they suppress citizens’ voices

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Translations: AR


Nearly one in three citizens who tried to access basic public services in the Middle East and North Africa paid a bribe, a Transparency International report said today, showing that governments across the region have failed to hear their citizens’ voices against corruption.

According to a public opinion survey by the international anti-corruption group of nearly 11,000 adults in 9 countries and territories, the majority of people (61 per cent) across the region think that the level of corruption has gone up over the last 12 months. The 30 per cent who paid a bribe for a basic service represent the equivalent of nearly 50 million people. Click here for the full report.

“It’s as if the Arab Spring never happened. Leaders who fail to stop secrecy, fail to promote free speech and fail to stop bribery also fail to bring dignity to the daily lives of people living in the Middle East and North Africa. Peoples’ human rights are seriously affected,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.

Public dissatisfaction with corrupt leaders and regimes was a key catalyst for change in the region, notably with Arab Spring protests. Five years on, the survey finds governments have done little to enforce laws against corruption and bribery, nor have they done enough for transparency and accountability through the promotion of freedoms of the press, civil society and for individuals.

In Lebanon, numbers are alarming as nine in ten people (92 per cent) say that they think corruption has increased.

Government officials, tax officials and members of parliament are perceived to be the most corrupt groups in the region.

Based on the findings of the survey, here are our four top recommendations:

·        Governments in the region must speak out immediately and publicly about their commitment to end corruption. They must also finally deliver on their anti-corruption commitments made globally and regionally, such as under the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the Arabic Convention for Combating Corruption.

·        Governments must eradicate impunity and bring the corrupt to justice so they can take responsibility for the consequences of their acts. 

·        Governments must create a safe and enabling environment for civil society and the media to fight and report corruption.

·        Governments must involve their citizens in the fight against corruption and create the space to hold institutions to account and to help law enforcement institutions. This is especially important when the majority of citizens (58 per cent) believe they have the power to make a difference.

Note to Editors

The Global Corruption Barometer 2016 question module was implemented by the Afrobarometer network and by several national partners in the Arab Barometer network. All fieldwork was completed using a face-to-face survey methodology. The survey samples were selected and weighted to be nationally representative of all adults aged 18 and above living in each country/territory.


For any press enquiries please contact

Chris Sanders
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

The terrible consequences of police corruption in South Africa

What do we do when those mandated to protect us are serving other interests than public safety and security? In South Africa, police corruption leaves the public exposed to high rates of crime, and causes distrust of the police service while allowing crime to flourish.

Why do DRC citizens report such high levels of corruption?

People's experiences with corruption in the DRC are far worse than in most other African countries. Why is corruption so prevalent in the DRC, why is bribery so commonplace and why do two thirds of citizens feel powerless?

Is Mauritius at a tipping point in the fight against corruption?

According to the latest GCB for Africa, very few Mauritians who accessed public services, like health care and education, had to pay a bribe for those services. But given recent scandals, citizens still see certain groups and institutions as corrupt.

Resilient institutions

Reducing corruption is an important component of the sustainable development agenda, and one that all state parties have an obligation to address. Although corruption is often thought of as a ‘third-world problem’, institutions in the Global North play an important role in the corruption cycle, and are therefore an essential part of the solutions.

In whose interest? Political integrity and corruption in Africa

What accounts for the wide disparity in peoples’ perceptions of the integrity of elected representatives in different countries? In this piece, we will to look at various forms of political corruption, how they manifest in African countries and what can be done to promote political integrity.

Cidadãos opinam sobre a corrupção em África

A décima edição do Barómetro Global de Corrupção (GCB) – África revela que embora a maioria das pessoas na África acreditem que os níveis de corrupção aumentaram no seu país, elas também se sentem otimistas, pois acreditam que os cidadãos podem fazer a diferença no combate à corrupção.

Les citoyens africains expriment leur opinion sur la corruption

La 10e édition du Baromètre mondial de la corruption – Afrique révèle que la plupart des Africains pensent que la corruption a augmenté dans leur pays, mais aussi que la majorité d’entre eux s’estiment capables, en tant que citoyens, de changer la donne dans la lutte contre la corruption.

Global Corruption Barometer - Africa 2019

The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa reveals that more than half of all citizens surveyed in 35 African countries think corruption is getting worse in their country. 59 per cent of people think their government is doing badly at tackling corruption.

Citizens speak out about corruption in Africa

The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa, reveals that while most people in Africa feel corruption increased in their country, a majority also feel optimistic that they can make a difference in the fight against corruption.

Where are Africa’s billions?

National governments aren’t the only ones failing African citizens in the fight against corruption. Foreign actors play a significant role in fuelling and perpetuating corruption in Africa, chipping away at the region’s sustainable development.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media