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Liberia Declines in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2023 Featured

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Monrovia, Tuesday, January 30, 2024, In its 2023 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Transparency International (TI), a global coalition against corruption, reported that Liberia has declined by 7 points from 32 in 2018 to 25 in 2023. The Corruption Perception Index scores and ranks countries based on how corrupt their public sectors are perceived, according to experts and business executives. The score ranges from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), where 0 equals the highest level of perceived public sector corruption and 100 equals the lowest level of perceived public sector corruption. 180 Countries were targeted in 2023 as in 2022.

In a statement issued in Monrovia, the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL), the National Chapter of Transparency International through its Executive Director Anderson D. Miamen said it is deeply concerned over Liberia’s consistently poor performance, especially her place among the Worst Decliners globally.

CENTAL’s statement said, the poor performance speaks to the Liberian Government’s inability to address the entrenched culture of impunity for corruption, despite enacting new anti-corruption laws and amending existing ones to make them stronger. The anti-corruption watchdog group cited the lack of investigation and prosecution of current and former government officials sanctioned by the US Government for corruption as some of the reasons behind the country’s decline. Additionally, the statement said the weak enforcement of anti-corruption laws and limited financial support to public integrity institutions such as the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and Public Procurement and Concession Commission have contributed to the decline.

“This year’s poor result shows the scale of the problem the Boakai-led administration is inheriting. On the other hand, it is a test of his anti-corruption credentials--whether bold commitments being made will be matched by visible concrete actions to end impunity for corruption, reverse the decline, and take Liberia up the CPI ladder”, the statement said.

The CPI draws upon 13 data sources, which capture the assessment of experts and business executives on several corrupt behaviors in the public sector. These corrupt practices and behaviors include bribery, diversion of public funds and supplies, use of public office for private gain, procurement irregularities, state capture, and nepotism in the civil service.

Also, some of the sources assess mechanisms available to prevent and address corruption in a country. Examples include the government’s ability to enforce integrity mechanisms; financial, logistical, and moral support to anti-graft institutions; independence and viability of anti-graft institutions; the effective prosecution of corrupt officials and others accused of corruption; conflict of interest prevention; access to information; freedom of speech and the media; and legal protection for whistleblowers, witnesses, journalists, and investigators.

Ranked 145/180 among countries covered by CPI 2023, Liberia's position as one of the biggest decliners on the CPI has been cemented dropping by a massive 16 points from 41 in 2012 to 25 in 2023.  In West Africa and the Mano River Union, Liberia is the only country that has declined by 7 points over the last 6 years. This is corroborated by CENTAL’s 2021, 2022, and 2023 State of Corruption Reports, which reveal that 90% of Liberians think the Corruption level is high in the country, with low citizens’ confidence in the executive branch of government to fight against corruption.

The Sub-Saharan Africa average is 33, the lowest in the world. Ninety percent of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa scored under 50. In the last decade, 43 countries in the region have either declined or made no significant progress.  Since 2012, Liberia (25), Mali (28), and South Sudan (11) have significantly declined on the CPI. On the other hand, some significant improvers over the last few years include Seychelles (71), Senegal (43), Ethiopia (37), Tanzania (40), Kenya (31), Côte d'Ivoire (40) and Angola (33).  With a score of 71, the Seychelles earned the highest mark in the region, followed by Cape Verde (64) and Botswana (59) as second and third-place holders. Equatorial Guinea (17), South Sudan (13), and Somalia (11) are the region’s worst performers.

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