By Omar Bah
The Gambia remained as the 102nd corrupt nation, only better than 78 countries, in a list of 180 countries gauged by Transparency International in 2021 released Tuesday.
The CPI scores and ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be by experts and business executives.
Reacting to the latest ranking, civil society group Gambia Participates executive director, Marr Nyang said: “The fact that the country scored the same points as of 2019 demonstrates that there has not been proactive or sufficient efforts taken by the government to prevent the occurrence of corruption both in the public and private sectors and then also detect and prosecute corruption cases and there has not been any law that has been legislated even though we are anticipating the next legislative assembly will pass the anti-corruption bill”.
However, according to the report, it is not only The Gambia that remains stagnant. “The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows that corruption levels remain at a standstill worldwide. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa, 80 percent of countries have made little or no progress in the last 10 years. According to the report, the gains of a handful of countries in the region are overshadowed by backsliding and stagnation in others,” the report said.
It added that “a decade of stagnating corruption levels has been devastating for Sub-Saharan Africa. Natural resources are plundered and millions of people lack access to public services while violent conflicts rage on and terrorist threats rise. Meanwhile, grand corruption allows elites to act with impunity, siphoning money away from the continent and leaving the public with little in the way of rights or resources”.
According to the report, Seychelles (70) tops the region, with Cabo Verde (58) and Botswana (55) the distant runners-up while Equatorial Guinea (17), Somalia (13) and South Sudan (11) score lowest in the region. “Botswana (55), Lesotho (38), Eswatini (32), Niger (31), Nigeria (24), Comoros (20) and South Sudan (11) are all at historic lows this year,” the report said.
Daniel Eriksson, Chief Executive Officer of Transparency International said: “In authoritarian contexts where control over government, business and the media rests with a few, social movements remain the last check on power. It is the power held by teachers, shopkeepers, students and ordinary people from all walks of life that will ultimately deliver accountability.”