KIGALI - Rwanda has been ranked sixth less corrupt country in Africa with a score of 4.0 out of 10 and 66 globally, in Transparency International’s latest global Corruption Perceptions Index 2010.
As the leading civil society organization fighting corruption worldwide released its 15th annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) Tuesday, the local chapter – Transparency Rwanda also organized a similar launch in Kigali.
James Musoni, the Minister of Local Government, was guest of honor at the launch and he noted that even though being ranked sixth in Africa was reasonably good, “we feel that we could even have been the first, considering the effort we put in; institutions and laws put in place to fight corruption.”
“There are many measures we put up to fight corruption nationally. The first was to publically denounce it, starting from the President to the individual citizen,” Musoni noted, as he highlighted the importance of massive public awareness.
“There is a political will manifesting that we do not support corruption. And this is the first vital step”.
This year’s index ranks 178 countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.
On the African continent, Rwanda is the only country in the East African Community (EAC) that comes in the top 20. The second in the bloc – Tanzania is at number 26 followed by Uganda, Kenya and Burundi at 30, 41 and 46, respectively. Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Tunisia and Ghana are the first five, in that order.
Rwanda’s latest CPI ranking indicates an improvement of over 20 positions. In 2009, Rwanda had been ranked 89th out of 180 countries worldwide.
Globally, the other EAC partner states – Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi are ranked as 116th, 127th, 154th and 170th, respectively.
Musoni stressed that government is ready to put in even more effort in the fight against corruption.
“As leaders, it is a choice we made and we hope that the next assessment will find the country in an even better position.”
Globally, Denmark, New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, Sweden and Canada are the top six, with the first three tying in rank.
The U.S. fell in a global ranking of corruption as concerns over financial regulatory oversight and political campaign funding weigh on public confidence, Transparency International says.
The U.S. ranked 22nd, down from 19th last year, with a score of 7.1, compared with 7.5 in 2009.
Afghanistan, Myanmar and Somalia came last.
The Berlin-based corruption watchdog group defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.”
The Corruption Perception Index helps to highlight the propensity of domestic corruption and its damaging influence.
In a related communiqué, Transparency Rwanda noted that while the global financial crisis affected the efforts of most countries in fighting corruption, Rwanda’s efforts were not adversely affected.
The local chapter congratulated the government for having tackled corruption issues which materialized in improvement of the CPI score in the past three years – from 2.8 in 2007 to 4.0 in 2010.