More than one out of every four people in Africa, equivalent to approximately 130 million people, who accessed public services, such as healthcare and education, have paid a bribe before, according to the tenth edition of the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa report which was copied to ghanabusinessnews.com.
The report which was released on African Anti-Corruption Day by Transparency International in partnership with Afrobarometer shows that, more than half of all citizens surveyed in 35 African countries think corruption is getting worse in their country.
The largest and most detailed survey of citizens, according to the report, asked 47,000 citizens in 35 countries about their perceptions of corruption and direct experiences of bribery.
The report also highlighted that, corruption disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, with the poorest paying bribes twice as often as the richest.
It added that, young people pay more bribes than those over 55 years old.
The trend, according to Patricia Moreira, Managing Director of Transparency International, is hindering Africa’s economic, political and social development.
“It is a major barrier to economic growth, good governance and basic freedoms, like freedom of speech or citizens’ right to hold governments to account, while governments have a long way to go in regaining citizens’ trust and reducing corruption, these things don’t exist in a vacuum. Foreign bribery and money laundering divert critical resources away from public services, and ordinary citizens suffer most,” she said.
The report said, the police is considered the most corrupt institution, with 47 per cent of people believing that most or all police are corrupt.
This will not be the first time the police has been indicted of being the most corrupt institution, because in the previous edition of the GCB for Africa, the police has consistently earned the highest bribery rate across the continent, the report added.
Meanwhile, more than half of citizens believe that ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption.
“To reduce the heavy burden of corruption on ordinary people, African states that have not done so should ratify and effectively implement the African Union Convention to Prevent and Combat Corruption,” said Paul Banoba, Regional Advisor for East Africa at Transparency International.
“Africans believe they can make a difference. Governments must allow them the space to do so,” he added.
Many citizens also think government officials and parliamentarians are highly corrupt, at 39 per cent and 36 per cent respectively.
By: Asabea Akonor
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