Rwanda maintains good score in new graft index

Appolinaire Mupiganyi, the Executive Secretary of Transparency International Rwanda (left), shakes hands with Ombudsman Anastase Murekezi during the presentation of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) report in Kigali on Thursday. Photo: Sam Ngendahimana

More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on a scale of 100 points in fighting corruption, with an average score of 43, shows Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) report by Transparency International.

According to a report released Thursday, most of the countries, including many of the world’s most advanced economies, are stagnating or showing signs of backsliding in their anti-corruption efforts.

Despite scoring the considerably high 53 points and maintaining the fourth position in Africa and the first in the region, Rwanda dropped three points from the 2018 index, when it scored 56 points.

On the global scale, Rwanda slipped three places from 48th to 51st.

In the region’s performance in terms of CPI score, Rwanda was followed by Tanzania with 37 score, Kenya and Uganda with 28 each, Burundi, 19, and DR Congo with 18.

Overall, Rwanda’s decline in performance was attributed to two factors, according to Transparency International-Rwanda.  

One is low score that the country got in the Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index, while the second is the reduction in grade in the World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey (EOS).

Considered the voice of the business community, EOS captures the opinions of top business executives and business conditions worldwide.

It covers issues including the state of an economy’s institutions, business environment, macroeconomic environment, technological advancement, human resources, health, education and infrastructure, as well as the level of corruption.

The Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index (Bti) looks at political transformation (including political participation, rule of law, stability of democratic institutions, political and social integration; it then looks at economic transformation (with aspects such organisation of the market and competition, currency and price stability, and welfare regime.

The index also looks at transformation management which assesses, resource efficiency, consensus-building, and international cooperation.

Speaking during the launch of the report in Kigali, Albert Rwego Kavatiri, the Programme Manager at TI-Rwanda, said that Rwanda got about 85 score in EOS in 2018, which went down to 76 in 2019.

For Bertelsmann, he said, Rwanda’s score reduced from 45 in 2018 to 37 in 2019.

Kavatiri said that the reduction in Rwanda’s performance in World Economic Forum’s EOS survey was due to various factors, some of which are sometimes beyond Rwanda’s control, citing regional conflicts, failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation, incidence of environmental-related events.

“You know the disasters that have been occurring in Rwanda and having catastrophic effects including claiming people’s lives,” he said.

“Business CEOs are respondent in the EOS survey. If they are not able to trade across borders because of regional conflicts, they report that such conflicts are hindering their business, which reduces a country’s score [in this survey],” he said referring to Rwanda’s relations with Uganda which nose-dived last year.

Tackling corruption

Anastase Murekezi, the Ombudsman, said that corruption limits citizens, especially the economically-vulnerable, in accessing public goods or services, reiterating Rwanda’s stance on zero tolerance to corruption.

He said that Rwanda’s decline in CPI performance globally is a reminder to work harder to stem corruption.

“In the CPI 2019, the global average score is 43 per cent, and we (Rwanda) have 10 points above that average. But this is not enough. Our country has a lot to do in fighting against corruption,” he said.

 “All Rwandans should commit to actively combat corruption. Rwandans who report corruption are few – about 20 per cent. That is an issue. The anti-corruption organs work hard, but they base their work on information they get,” he said.

He said that there are still incidences of corruption in public tenders, construction sector, but also in examination and recruitment of workers which he said implies abuse of position power.

“The Government of Rwanda is not only committed to punish the corrupt but also to recover illegally obtained or embezzled assets through law enforcement,” he said.

Marie-Immaculéee Ingabire, Chairperson of TI-Rwanda, said that countries might have good laws and mechanisms to tackle corruption, but results turn out to be minimal because of lack of effective implementation or enforcement.

“Transparency International recognises commendable efforts of the Government of Rwanda in fighting corruption in our country. However, we encourage all concerned actors to keep up the momentum, especially looking into social norms and power relations as hidden drivers of corruption in our country,” she said.

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