1 in 4 Africans had to pay a bribe to access public services last year

africa 2019 cash

(Annie Spratt, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Kate Whiting, Senior Writer, Formative Content


Having to pay a bribe for life-saving medicine and official documents like passports and driver’s licences would for many people seem unthinkable.

But it’s the reality for more than a quarter of African citizens, according to the results of a new survey into corruption on the continent.

Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer – Africa 2019 has found more than half of 47,000 citizens in the 35 countries surveyed believe their nation is becoming more corrupt – and that the government isn’t doing enough to tackle the problem.

More than one in four people who answered the survey had paid a bribe to access public services from healthcare to education in the previous year.

The report says: “Corruption is hindering Africa’s economic, political and social development… More than this, it affects the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.”

Who does bribery impact?

Image: Transparency International

Out of all the countries surveyed, people in the Democrat Republic of Congo are most affected, with 80% of public service users saying they’d paid a bribe in the past 12 months and 85% thinking corruption in the country is getting worse.

Mauritius was found to have one of the lowest bribery rates on the continent, with just 5% of those surveyed reporting having paid one in the previous year. Mauritians are reasonably optimistic about action being taken against corruption, with 55% believing this.

Within the countries surveyed, the poorest are hardest hit by corruption – with the cost of bribes meaning families have less money to pay for essentials like medicine, food and water.

Young people aged between 18 and 34 were also found to be more likely to pay bribes than those aged over 55.

And in some countries, including Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda, two-thirds of people fear retaliation if they speak up about corruption, so it goes unreported.

Who’s the most corrupt?

Image: Transparency International

Almost half of the respondents believe “most or all people” in the police force are corrupt, followed by government officials and members of parliament as the least-trusted public figures.

At the other end of the scale, only 16% of people perceive religious leaders to be corrupt.

The police also earn the highest bribery rate across the continent, with 28% of people who have had dealings with them in the previous year having paid a bribe.

Almost a quarter (23%) of those using utility companies, including electricity and water, had paid bribes to officials and a fifth had paid bribes to receive identification documents like passports.

Schools, public clinics and health centres are also featured among services to whom people paid bribes.

 

Global problem

Corruption is not unique to Africa, however.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2018, which ranked 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, found that two-thirds of countries scored below 50, with an average score of just 43. Zero means highly corrupt and a perfect score of 100 means the country is “very clean”.

In Europe, Hungary and Turkey’s CPI ratings have dropped over the past six years, and the index report notes: “These ratings reflect the deterioration of rule of law and democratic institutions, as well as a rapidly shrinking space for civil society and independent media, in those countries.”

In its 2018 report The Future of Trust and Integrity, the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative – a World Economic Forum cross-industry collaboration – said illicit financial flows cost developing countries $1.26 trillion each year.

They also have a substantial impact on developed economies: it is estimated the EU loses more than $159 billion each year to corruption.

Global solutions

But there’s hope for positive change. In Transparency International’s Africa survey, more than half (53%) of people are optimistic they could make a difference in the fight against corruption.

The NGO has also issued the recommendations shown in the chart below for how African governments could take a “holistic, systemic approach” to tackling corruption.

Image: Transparency International

Meanwhile, business leaders around the world have been urged to implement international anti-corruption and anti-money laundering standards, and recommendations to governments include establishing public registers with information on the actual owners of private companies and trusts, as well as the enforcement of international bribery laws.

Collaborations like the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative will help in the global war on corruption, so that one day, the world might beat it altogether.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Costa Rica is one of the world’s happiest countries. Here’s what it does differently

GSMA announces speakers for Mobile 360 Series-West Africa

Less than half of EU travellers are aware of EU Passenger Rights

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity Act for a cyber-bulletproof EU”, by EU Vice-President Ansip

AI-assisted recruitment is biased. Here’s how to make it more fair

Climate change recognized as ‘threat multiplier’, UN Security Council debates its impact on peace

UN’s Guterres condemns ongoing airstrikes on Syria’s hospitals, medical workers

Mergers: Commission approves GlaxoSmithKline’s acquisition of Pfizer’s Consumer Health Business, subject to conditions

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest news from Monday’s World Health Organization briefing

UN condemns deadly attack against G5 Sahel force headquarters in Mali

Amidst ‘high political tension’, UN chief appeals to G20 leaders for stronger commitment to climate action, economic cooperation

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing how we grow, buy and choose what we eat

Monday’s Daily Brief: numbers of hungry people rising, millions of children need vaccines, Mali children need more protection

Climate change update: consistent global actions urgently needed as we are running out of time

UN experts urge India to align new anti-trafficking bill with human rights law

25 years on from genocide against the Tutsi, UN Chief warns of ‘dangerous trends of rising xenophobia, racism and intolerance’

New EU rules to boost crowdfunding platforms and protect investors

These countries spend the most on education

How a possible EU budget deficit affects the migration crisis

South Eurozone countries threatened by rising borrowing cost and expensive euro

Thought AIs could never replace human imagination? Think again

Rohingya refugee shelters ‘washed away’ in Bangladesh monsoon rains: UN agency

Why are the financial markets shivering again?

This year’s Earth Hour is going digital due to the COVID-19 pandemic

This South African lawyer is reading while running marathons – for book donations

Why infrastructure is the only way to fight a COVID-19 recession in the US

Statement by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría on the outcome of COP 25

Impact investment favours expats over African entrepreneurs. Here’s how to fix that

Politics still matter in the US but not in Europe

Will COVID-19 lead to the global resurgence of other deadly diseases?

Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

A shortened EU Summit admits failures, makes risky promises

How can we produce enough protein to feed 10 billion people?

Young activists share four ways to create a more inclusive world

Should we be worried about third-hand smoke?

UN mission in DR Congo appeals for calm as violent protests continue

EU elections 2019: Rise of nationalist trends and populism in Europe challenges the EU edifice

Madagascar villagers learn dangers of outdoor defecation

UN human rights report cites ‘multiple root causes’ of deadly Chile protests

World Health Day: Statement by Commissioner Stella Kyriakides

Philippe de Backer of ALDE at European Business Summit 2015 stresses: “Reinvent your business”

The Linde Group Logo (Source: The Linde Group website, Press Services, 2018)

EU starts in-depth investigation of Linde-Praxair merger over competition concerns

European Youth, quo vadis?

Flying high: how India could lead the world in drones

UN cooperation with League of Arab States ‘pivotal’, UN chief tells Security Council

North Korean families facing deep ‘hunger crisis’ after worst harvest in 10 years, UN food assessment shows

UN chief lauds Fijians as ‘natural global leaders’ on climate, environment, hails ‘symbiotic relationship’ with land and sea

Africa is launching the world’s largest free trade area – but these are the stumbling blocks

‘Address root causes’ of instability in Mali through ‘aid and support’ urges UN chief

Can North Korea and the U.S. strike a nuclear deal?

Suffering of thousands of war-affected Syrian children ‘unprecedented and unacceptable’

How to make PHC a favourable career choice for medical students: Strategies and reflections

Restoring prospect of peace in Middle East is ‘our shared responsibility’ UN envoy tells Security Council

UN announces roadmap to Climate Summit in 2019, a ‘critical year’ for climate action

Universal Health Coverage will ‘drive progress’ on 2030 Development Agenda

Understanding and demystifying the new outbreak of Coronavirus

This Netherlands football stadium creates its own energy and stores it in electric car batteries

The UK referendum has already damaged Europe: even a ‘remain’ result is not without cost to Britain and the EU

This Dutch company makes environmentally-friendly paint

Would you let an AI vote for you?

More Stings?

Advertising

Trackbacks

  1. […] Source: 1 in 4 Africans had to pay a bribe to access public services last year – The European Sting &#8211… […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s