Liberia’s Corruption Ranking Drops Again

Liberia, like many Sub-Saharan African countries, scores an average of 32 out of 100 marks, indicating  another year of stagnation on the Index.  

.... “The report speaks to the Liberian Government’s inability to address the entrenched culture of impunity and enforcing existing anti-corruption laws and policies,” Anderson Miamen, Executive Director of  CENTAL said.

Liberia has ranked on top of countries that are yet to make significant progress in the fight against corruption.

The assessment from Transparency International, comes just a day after President George Weah told Liberians that the fight against corruption crimes remains paramount concern, saying his administration has  strengthened the fight against corruption.

But the global corruption watchdog, Transparency International, paints a picture of endemic corruption, which is not being rooted up, as Liberia now ranks 142 out of 180  countries in its 2022 corruption perceptions index.

This ranking means Liberia has now joined the list of countries that had significantly declined on the index while being placed among the worst declining countries globally.

And with the exception of Saint Lucia, only Liberia has fallen 15 points since 2012. Also, in West Africa and the Mano River Union, Liberia is the only country that has declined by 6 points over the last five years. 

Since the country attained her highest score of 41 in 2012, it has been in free-fall on the index, topping the list of countries with stagnated and declining anti-corruption efforts and now has a score of 26 in 2022. 

“The report speaks to the Liberian Government’s inability to address the entrenched culture of impunity by adequately funding public integrity institutions, fully enforcing existing anti-corruption laws and policies, and taking drastic actions against hi officials accused and investigated for corruption,”  said Anderson Miamen, the Executive Director of  the Center for Transparency and Accountability (CENTAL), which is the national chapter of Transparency International.

“Importantly, this year’s poor result should serve as a wake-up call to the President that his efforts are not good enough, as they have only taken the country backward in its anti-corruption drive,” he said.

The index report on the Weah administration draws upon the assessment of the government’s ability to enforce integrity mechanisms; independence of anti-graft institutions; the effective prosecution of corrupt officials among others.

And the Transparency International Report has corroborated the finding of the CENTAL 2022 State of Corruption Report, which revealed that 90% of Liberians think corruption level is high in the country, with confidence in the executive branch of government to fight against corruption declining from 30% in 2021 to 26% in 2022.  

“Liberians have heard more words and promises from the President and other public officials than genuine efforts in the fight against Corruption in the country,” Miamen said. “This has to change if the country’s extremely disappointing performance has to be reversed. Massive improvement in score and performance, and not stagnation and further decline, is what the country needs, going forward.”

This year’s global index results, according to Transparency International, underline how intertwined paths of democracy, security and development in Sub-Saharan Africa are eroded by corruption – particularly during a time of global crises. 

Liberia, like many Sub-Saharan African countries, scores an average of 32 out of 100 marks, indicating another year of stagnation on the Index.  Seychelles, Botswana, and Cabo Verde, as the least corrupt countries in Africa. While  Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan, and Somalia perform the lowest.

Its ranking measures perceived public-sector corruption using a scale on which 100 is seen as very clean and zero is very corrupt. This year’s results reveal that a majority of the 180 countries analyzed are showing little to no improvement in tackling corruption. The global average remains unchanged at a score of 43 out of 100 for the eleventh year in row. Denmark (90) tops the index this year, with Finland and New Zealand following closely, both at 87. The highest-scoring region is Western Europe with an average score of 60. The lowest-scoring region is Sub-Saharan Africa 32.