Ghanaian officials engage in corrupt practices with impunity – US Report reveals

President Nana Akufo Addo
President Nana Akufo Addo

The U.S. Department of State’s 2021 Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released on 12 April 2022 has said even though Ghana’s law provides criminal penalties for corruption by government officials, “the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity”.

“There were numerous reports of government corruption”, the report said.

It noted: “Corruption was present in all branches of government, according to media and NGOs, including recruitment into the security services”.

“Since the first special prosecutor took office in 2018, no corruption case undertaken by that office resulted in a conviction”, the report observed.

It said when the “new special prosecutor took office in August, his staff included one investigator and one prosecutor, both seconded from other offices”.

Read excerpts of the US Report below:

Corruption: A June report by the auditor-general revealed widespread corruption and waste of public funds remained pervasive problems.

For example, the honorary consul general and the Ghanaian consulate in Washington D.C. could not account for visa fees totalling $355,000.

The Free Senior High School Secretariat misspent more than $3.16 million.

A former minister of tourism retained three official vehicles for personal use after leaving office.

The report concluded that corrupt practices resulted in $340 million of financial mismanagement, including misapplication and misappropriation of funds, theft, and procurement mismanagement.

On August 31, the Ghana Center for Democratic Development released highlights from a survey conducted between May 23 and June 3.

Less than 30 per cent of respondents were optimistic regarding the government’s ability to fight corruption.

Approximately one-half were confident in the government’s ability to uphold the rule of law, 53 per cent believed the government did not adequately protect financial resources and 62 per cent doubted government efforts to address corruption and official impunity.

Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer published in 2019 found 59 per cent of respondents claimed there was rampant corruption in the Ghana Police Service, more so than any other government institution.

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