Our beautiful continent has over fifty countries. Some of these countries are ruled by corrupt leaders. They influence the judicial system, award jobs to their relatives, and limit the freedom of the press.
This results in many African countries having a small wealthy elite while the majority of the population live in poverty and desolation.
Transparency International uses the Corruption Perception Index to rank countries on a scale of 0 to 100.
- A country with numbers closer to 0 has extremely high levels of corruption.
- While a country with a score closer to 100 has less corruption.
10 Most Corrupt Countries in Africa
Let us then take their index and see what it says about corruption in Africa, shall we?
#10 - Central African Republic
CPI Score: 20/100
Corruption is deeply woven into the society of the Central African Republic. High ranking officials participate in nefarious activities with no regard for the law.
Governmental officials accept ‘gifts’ from companies that exploit the people and the natural resources of the country. International bodies have implicated in embezzlement schemes, misappropriation of funds and leaders that use the country’s funds to finance their personal travels.
With activities like these, we can see why the Central African Republic is one of the most corrupt countries in Africa.
#9 – Chad
CPI Score: 20/100
Chad is the 9th most corrupt country in Africa due to its deeply embedded culture of corruption. High ranking officials award jobs to individuals based on familial ties. In this country, persons at all levels in society are involved in corruption.
Citizens have to pay bribes to receive basic services; police extort companies and companies in turn bribe government officials. The anti-corruption laws have little to no effect on persons who engage in corruption as they are not enforced.
#8 - Republic of Congo
CPI Score: 20/100
Despite the existence of anti-corruption legislation, politicians, businesses and high ranking individuals who participate in corrupt activities slip nimbly through the judicial system.
Though Freedom of the Press is allowed, a journalist was attacked supposedly for speaking in favor of the opposing party. In the Republic of Congo persons obtain jobs based on their ethnicity and familial ties.
While government officials and their relatives live luxurious lives financed by the country’s coffers the population continue to live in absolute poverty.
#7 - Angola
CPI Score: 18/100
Angola is one of the top producers of oil. However, the money earned is used to line the pockets of politicians. Politicians in Angola are blatant in their deed. It is common for the President to award contracts or appoint his children to high ranking positions.
Citizens have to pay bribe to access basic services such as healthcare and education. The police bribe, companies give ‘gifts’ and the politicians live lives of luxury. Thousands of children suffer and die from malnutrition each day while the President’s daughter is the richest woman in Africa.
#6 - Eritrea
CPI Score: 18/100
Rankers of corruption blame increased governmental control for the rise in corruption in Eritrea. Politicians award contracts to businesses owned by politicians. The government interferes in judicial proceedings to direct how rulings are made.
High ranking individuals and businesses grant ‘gifts in order to ensure this. A thriving black market also exists in the country. There is a thriving black market and even the security forces engage in the smuggling of illegal goods and humans.
#5 - Guinea-Bissau
CPI Score: 16/100
Corruption is entrenched in Guinea-Bissau’s history. The environment of Guinea-Bissau is one of political instability and widespread corruption in successive governments and the security forces.
Transparency International reports that none of the country’s Presidents have ever completed a full term in office. In Guinea-Bissea, the government reports to no one and government members get fat off the people’s money.
High ranking members in the government and the security forces are members of crime syndicates. These crime syndicates are centered around drugs as Guinea-Bissau is the major transshipment hub for Latin American drug lords.
#4 - Libya
CPI Score: 14/100
Libyans experience widespread corruption as they go about their daily lives. Private-owned companies in Libya are stunted by corruption as companies owned by the government receive contractions regardless of qualifications.
Private-owned companies also face extortion from members of the security forces and criminals. Politicians interfere in the judicial process and judges are often accused of corrupt dealings.
Citizen so not have access to government information and journalist who report on corruption or injustice do so at the risk of being assassinated, kidnapped or attacked.
#3 - Sudan
CPI Score: 14/100
The stench of corruption permeates every sector of the economy in Sudan. Corruption is rampant in oil, sports, transport, and many other sectors. Politicians embezzle and mismanage funds without any censure by the courts.
To conduct business in Sudan, persons have to prepare to pay bribes to government officials are company employees. Nepotism and getting jobs based on political affiliation are commonplace.
The judicial system lacks the proper resources to deal with cases and of course, politicians hold sway over court rulings. The government does not even allow for its citizens to see its budget. Politicians go as far as manipulating the press to ensure that none of their corrupt dealings become known to the public.
#2 - South Sudan
CPI Score: 11/100
Like all the other countries on this list, bribery is commonplace in South Sudan. If a business wants to be profitable, it has to establish connections with politicians.
The judicial system is inefficient at best. Police are audacious enough to demand bribes and are free to abuse citizens as there is no recourse for citizens. Corruption is of course prevalent in the oil sector. Establishing businesses in South Sudan are hampered by bureaucracy.
There are laws that make nepotism, embezzlement, the act of giving and receiving gifts illegal but they are not enforced. If they were South Sudan would not be the 2nd most corrupt country in the world.
#1 - Somalia
CPI Score: 8/100
Corruption is natural as breathing in Somalia. Citizens and businesses have to function in an unstable political climate. Businesses exploit the citizens and give bribes to government officials so that they turn a blind eye to their illegal practices.
Government officials loot from the country’s coffers with impunity. Companies establish relationships with criminals to protect them from other criminals as security forces are non-existent.
Lastly, the government does not have a system for collecting taxes; instead, this is left up to organized criminal groups/warlords.
Keep reading: 10 of the Greatest African Leaders