Approval of Government’s anti-corruption efforts declines sharply since 2017 – Afrobarometer

Josephine Appiah-Nyamekye Sanny presenting
Josephine Appiah-Nyamekye Sanny presenting

A new Afrobarometer round 8 survey has shown that, more than half of Ghanaians say the level of corruption in the country has increased and the government’s efforts in fighting it is very poor.

Presenting the report findings at a press briefing on 3rd December, 2019, in Accra, Josephine Appiah-Nyamekye Sanny, Afrobarometer communications coordinator for anglophone West Africa, disclosed that, approval ratings for the government’s anti-corruption efforts have declined sharply since 2017, after more than doubling in the previous three years.

According to her, the survey showed that most Ghanaians perceive at least “some” corruption in key public institutions, and a majority fear retaliation if they report graft to the authorities.

She indicated that, “Ghana ranks 78th out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index, three places below its 2017 position.”

Key findings in the survey showed that, among key public officials in Ghana, the police, judges and magistrates, Members of Parliament, civil servants, and tax officials are most widely perceived as corrupt. But perceived corruption among the police has declined slightly as compared to 2017.

“The Army, religious leaders, and the presidency are the most trusted public institutions (by 72%, 63%, and 58% who say they trust them “somewhat” or “a lot”), while opposition political parties (37%), local government officials (38%), and tax officials (39%) are least trusted.

More than half (53%) of Ghanaians say corruption in the country has worsened “somewhat” or “a lot” during the year preceding the survey, a 17-percentage-point increase compared to 2017. This follows a huge (47-percentage-point) improvement between 2014 and 2017.

The police are the institutions that the largest number of citizens report bribing to access services. Among those who had contact with key public services during the previous year, four in 10 say they paid a bribe to avoid problems with the police (42%) or to obtain police assistance (39%).

Six in 10 Ghanaians (61%) believe they risk retaliation or other negative consequences if they report incidents of corruption. Only one-third (34%) say they can report corruption without fear of retaliation.

Compared to 2017, there has been a 27-percentage-point drop in popular approval ratings of the government’s performance in fighting corruption – a dramatic reversal of earlier gains. Only a minority (40%) say the government is doing a “fairly” or “very” good job,” Josephine expatiated.

In her remarks at the event, Mrs. Beauty Emefa Nartey, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), underscored the need to tackle the issues of corruption from the grassroot (ie. The Youth).

She asserted, “we talk about the youth….they are all paying bribes, but we all say that the youth are the future leaders. So what kind of path are we charting…? It means already this country is in doom. Because the people who are the future leaders are already paying bribes and we say it’s a habit, so once they are paying bribes now, what is the guarantee that they won’t be paying bribes or they wouldn’t be taking advantage of the situation?

And this for me, is a call or challenge to us as people who are interested in the development of this country. Probably we would have to rethink the strategies and approaches we use in engaging in anti-corruption.”

Mrs. Beauty, opined that, “Maybe, the way we have engaged the youth may not be the best. We may have to use other options. How do we engage the youth differently to let them realize that, what ever Ghana is today, they are going to manage it and how do they position themselves.”

She reemphasized on the need for a broader conversation that needs to go beyond this move.

The event was facilitated by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development
(CDD-Ghana), in partnership with the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), formed part of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition’s Anti-Corruption week celebration.

It was witnessed by key dignitaries in the likes of; Justice Emile Short, Dr. Augustina Akunnor – GIMPA, Mr. Korieh Duodu – Egality Law, Dr. Kojo Asante – Director of Policy Research at the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Mrs. Mary Awelana Addah – Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), other stakeholders and to name a few.

Attached are the survey report and a release for your perusal;
News release-Ghanaians see increase in corruption-Afrobarometer-v3-3dec19


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