Rwanda is Africa’s 3rd least corrupt country

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Munyeshaka (L) and Ingabire exchange greetings during the launch of the report in Kigali yesterday. (Photos by Timothy Kisambira)

The Government has welcomed the new ranking of the global Corruption Perception Index with officials promising to score higher next time.

The Corruption Perception Index, released yesterday in Kigali, placed Rwanda alongside Mauritius as third least corrupt country in sub-Saharan Africa.

The annual report, produced by Transparency International, ranked Rwanda 50th least corrupt country globally, retaining the same 54 per cent score as last year.

In sub-Saharan Africa, Rwanda and Mauritius tied, coming after Botswana and Cape Verde in first and second place, respectively, while on the global scale, Denmark and New Zealand emerged the least corrupt nations.

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Appolinaire Mupiganyi, the executive secretary of Transparency Rwanda, presents the  corruption Index perception in Kigali.

Reacting on the report, Vincent Munyeshyaka, the state minister in charge of socio-economic development at the Ministry of Local Government, said Rwanda’s stance on good governance and zero tolerance to corruption remain unchanged.

“This is a prerequisite to sustainable economic development, peace and security. The corruption perception index releaed today (yesterday) gives us confidence that future ranking will be better than this year’s,” he said.

However, Munyeshyaka said collective actions involving public, private sector and the civil society organisations are paramount to achieve the goals.

“We still have a long journey to cover; the performance so far is good but our target is to be ranked among the best countries worldwide in the near future,” he added.

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Marie-Immaculée Ingabire, the chairperson of Transparency International Rwanda,  gives her opening remarks in Kigali. 

Marie-Immaculée Ingabire, the chairperson of Transparency International Rwanda, said that although Rwanda has maintained good performance at both regional and continental level there was no room for complacency.

“The further we go, the more efforts are needed. The 2016 Rwanda Bribery Index, launched last month, showed us that corruption reporting is still a big issue. Citizens are still reluctant to report incidents of corruption, we need to mobilise them more,” she said.

Data and findings

The Corruption Perception Index, among others, used 13 data sources to construct the 2016 report; the African Development Bank Governance Ratings 2015; World Bank’s Country Policy and Institutional Assessment 2015 and Economist Intelligence Unit Country Risk Ratings 2016.

In the region, Burundi scored 20 and ranked 159 worldwide, lagging in EAC. It was followed by Uganda, which scored 25, and ranked 151 worldwide.

Tanzania scored 32 and ranked 116 wordwide, with Kenya 26 and ranked 146.

Ingabire said there was no need for Rwanda to compare itself with its regional neighbours.

“If scoring higher in Africa is to be like Botswana which scored 61, why can’t we aim higher, we can do it but it needs collective efforts and changes in mentality,” she said.

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Participants follow proceedings during the meeting.

The Executive Director of Transparency International Rwanda, Apollinaire Mupiganyi, also argued that more work needed to be done, especially after Rwanda dropped six points worldwide after other countries were added to the rankings.

“Other than keeping momentum, there is need to work even harder. For example, in the World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey 2016, Rwanda scored highly on the component of diversion of public funds to companies, individuals or groups due to corruption,” he said.

“It scored 5.6 on a scale of 1-7 where point one is very grave, while seven is the highest score, so we surely can do even better.”

The new countries in the ranking are Bahamas, Barbados, Santa Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Brunei and Grenada.

Mupiganyi said, on transparency, accountability and corruption in the public sector, Rwanda scored 4.5 on a scale of 1-6.

In that section, the report considered accountability of the executive to oversight institutions and of public employees for their performance, access of civil society to information on public affairs, among others.

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