NAIROBI, September 23 – Kenya’s anti-graft record took a beating on Tuesday when a new report listed the country as the most corrupt nation in East Africa.
The 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) that was released by Transparency International, showed that Kenya was the 16th most corrupt country out of 47 nations in Sub-Saharan Africa with a score of 2.1.
Botswana, Mauritius and Cape Verde remained the least corrupt countries having scored above the mid point of 5.
South Africa is also below average with a score of 4.9 (the lower the CPI score, the more corrupt a nation is perceived).
The report however shows that Benin, Mauritius and Nigeria have significantly reduced corruption while Burundi and Somalia have worsened compared to last year.
In East Africa, Tanzania fairs relatively well as the 32nd most corrupt country with a CPI score of 3.0 while Uganda is listed as the 20th most corrupt state in Sub Saharan Africa at a score of 2.6.
With most African countries scoring far way below average, it is an indication that corruption and lack of transparency are still a challenge in the developing continent.
The high corruption indexes are also hampering African countries from achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“The fact that corruption is perceived to remain pervasive in many countries across the region indicates that it remains a serious threat for nations facing dire poverty stands to undermine chances of achieving any of the MDGs,” the report said.
Africa remained poor because corruption has been seen as the major setback to alleviating poverty since the scarce funds and resources available are lost to few individuals.
The poor results also showed that most African countries are unlikely to meet the 2005 Paris Declaration deadline of making aid more effective by 2010.
“The CPI scores of most African countries indicate that progress in meeting the 2010 deadline for full implementation of the declaration is lagging dangerously,” the report said.
The poor ratings also showed that most Africans may not access basic services such as health and education.
Other consequences may include conflict.
The report indicated that developed countries have high scores showing their determination to fight corruption.
Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, Singapore, Finland and Switzerland were rated as the least corrupt countries respectively with a CPI score of above 9.
The United States of America has a CPI score of 7.3; The United Kingdom has a score of 7.7 while Germany stands at 7.9 and China scoring 3.6.