In a survey that measured bribery levels in the private and public sectors in East Africa, that was released on Thursday, Transparency International, ranked Rwanda , the least corrupt country in the region.
The anti-corruption watchdog’s East African Bribery Index (EABI) sates that Rwanda’s corruption prevalence is at 6.6 percent and that government’s commitment to fight corruption is rated at 97.1 percent.
Tanzania came second in the rankings with a prevalence of 28.6 percent, followed by Kenya 31.9 percent, Uganda 33 percent and Burundi 36.7 percent.
These findings and various political and socio-economic achievements registered by Rwanda practically indicate that this nation is run in the most transparent manner.
Corruption is a dangerous vice which undermines governance, sustainable development, democratic process, and fair business practices. And indeed, Transparency International warned that the level of corruption in East Africa threatens to hold back the recently launched common market’s full potential.
Therefore, the fight against corruption should be a regional battle and should start from the grass root.
Other EAC countries can also learn from Rwanda and create strong Ombudsman offices capable of regularly exposing cases of fraud, malpractice and corruption at the top, middle and bottom levels of the public sector.
Moreover, private companies in collaboration with relevant authorities must put in place strict internal controls and establish ethics and compliance programs, as part of a strategy to combat corruption in their businesses.
Otherwise, corruption will undermine the fruits of the EAC integration through holding back economic development in all sectors.