Transparency International, on Thursday, released a corruption perceptions index, where Rwanda featured among the ‘clean’ African states, thanks to remarkable strides in her campaign against corruption.
Botswana, Cape Verde, Mauritius and Rwanda make up the prestigious club of near corruption-free nations on a continent that has suffered so much at the hands of corrupt systems.
Placing fourth least corrupt in Africa and 49th worldwide, with a score of 5.0 out of 10, is no mean feat for a country that languished in 111th position out of 178 countries, with a paltry score of 2.8, as recently as 2007.
It is an achievement built upon years of solid work and consistency, through the application of appropriate legal framework and procedures, as well as establishment and empowerment of institutions designed to fight graft. Many bold decisions were taken to ensure a paradigm shift in matters of public accountability and ownership.
From Rwanda’s experience, it is clear that one of the main deterrence is punishing the corrupt, regardless of their position and status, as this sends out a strong message to the rest of the public. It may be difficult to totally rid society of any corrupt tendencies, but keeping the momentum against the vice should remain a top priority.
The annual Auditor General’s reports, easily demonstrate why the anti-corruption crusade must not lose steam. Taxpayers need value for every single penny that leaves the public coffers. They have seen the benefits of fiscal transparency and public accountability and will not tire in demanding more vigilance to ensure that government remains as clean and open as possible.
While we must appreciate the commendable progress we have made as a nation, we must not be complacent, let’s stay the course.