Transparency International has just released the Corruption Perception Index for 2018. After improving its score for two consecutive years, Kazakhstan’s score remained unchanged in 2018. The stability in the score was due to the fact that while Kazakhstan improved in some of the categories that are used to compute CPI, it did not perform as well in some other categories and, as a result, after scoring 31 points in 2017, it scored 31 points in 2018.

In contrast to Kazakhstan Italy was able to improve its score. After scoring 50 points in 2017, Italy scored 52 points in the 2018 CPI–an improvement that will no doubt raise some eyebrows among those who know something about Italy or about corruption or both.

The least corrupt countries in the world are Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland; Germany and the United Kingdom are tied in 11th position; France is 21st and the United States of America are 22nd.

How did African countries perform in 2018? Some of them did really well. Seychelles climbed in 28th position, Botswana remained in 34th position, Cape Verde was 45th, Rwanda 48th and Namibia 52nd. The performance of these countries is particularly impressive because they were all managed to outperform Italy (in spite of its imrpovements) and in some cases did so by a considerable margin.

In 2017 Namibia was tied with Italy, in 2018 it is ahead. Botswana and Rwanda remained in the same poition, Cape Verde climbed 3 positions, and Seychelles gained 8 positions–from 36th to 28th. And the political leaders from these countries should be congratulated on such remarkable results.

These very good news are, however, counterbalanced by the fact that in several countries corruption has increased. This is the case of Kenya, Mauritania, Mozambique, DRC, Chad, Congo, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea Bissau.

The score for Somalia has slightly improved, but not enough to change Somalia’s position in the rankings.

African countries need to do more to fight corruption. If corruption is not eradicated, or, at least, reduced the considerable underground wealth with which African countries are endowed will not translate into proper wealth on the surface. Corruption remains the main obstacle on Africa’s development path.

If Africa wants to develop, corruption must be eradicated. We know it, Africans know it, and African political elites should do something about it.

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