Burundi maintains position in corruption index

Burundi maintained its place for three consecutive years. PHOTO|FILE.

Burundi maintained its place for three consecutive years in as far as corruption is concerned according to the 2021 report from Transparency International.

Burundi was ranked as the 169th with 19 points out of 180 countries leaving behind 11 countries as corruption levels remained stagnant worldwide compared to the previous year.

“The fundamental freedoms of association and expression are crucial in the fight for a world free of corruption. There is an urgent need to accelerate the fight against corruption if we are to halt human rights abuses and democratic decline across the globe,” a statement reads from Transparency International.

The Index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople. It relies on 13 independent data sources and uses a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

More than two-thirds of countries (68 per cent) score below 50 and the average global score remains static at 43. Since 2012, 25 countries significantly improved their scores, but in the same period 23 countries significantly declined.

This year, the top countries are Denmark, Finland and New Zealand, each with a score of 88. Norway (85), Singapore (85), Sweden (85), Switzerland (84), the Netherlands (82), Luxembourg (81) and Germany (80) complete the top 10.

South Sudan (11), Syria (13) and Somalia (13) remain at the bottom of the index.

Countries experiencing armed conflict or authoritarianism tend to earn the lowest scores, including Venezuela (14), Afghanistan (16), North Korea (16), Yemen (16), Equatorial Guinea (17), Libya (17) and Turkmenistan (19).

Sub Saharan Africa the lowest scoring region 

With an average score of 33 out of 100, Sub-Saharan Africa shows no significant improvement on the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The gains made by a handful of countries are overshadowed by backsliding or stagnation in others and the region’s poor performance overall, as 44 out of 49 countries assessed on the index still score below 50. 

Seychelles (CPI score: 70) tops the 2021 index, while Cabo Verde (58) and Botswana (55) are the distant runners-up.

For countries at the bottom of the index, such as Equatorial Guinea (17), Somalia (13) and South Sudan (11), the way out of endemic corruption remains daunting.

Two years into the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s CPI reveals that corruption levels remain at a standstill worldwide.

Despite commitments on paper, 131 countries have made no significant progress against corruption over the last decade, and this year 27 countries are at a historic low in their CPI score. Meanwhile, human rights and democracy across the world are under assault. 

This is no coincidence. Corruption is said to enable Human Rights Abuses according to the Transparency International 2021 report. Conversely, ensuring basic rights and freedoms means there is less space for corruption to go unchallenged.

The 2021 CPI results show that countries with well-protected civil and political liberties generally control corruption better.


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