Best of a bad lot? Mauritius least corrupt in Africa
A survey done by independent and nonpartisan organization Afrobarometer showed that Mauritius’s corruption rate is the lowest, at 1.20, on a scale of 0 to 4, compared to 33 other African countries ranked on the index. (Image: LSE)
Mauritius emerged as the least corrupt compared to 33 other African countries on the Afrobarometer survey of corruption.
A survey done by the independent and nonpartisan organization showed that Mauritius’s corruption rate is the lowest, at 1.20, on a scale of 0 to 4.
However, the report went on to note that the population of Mauritius and Rodrigues feels that the benefits of development are not spread among the residents in spite of all these socio-political and economic achievements. Thus, the perception of a corruption-free environment does not appear to have the vote of the average Mauritian.
Lately, Budget 2014 has proposed to provide more teeth to the island economy’s financial market regulator and also to set up a Serious Fraud Office to combat financial frauds. These measures can be further expected to tackle corruption in the island economy.
Moreover, on the 2013 Index of Economic freedom released earlier this year by the Heritage Foundation, Mauritius scored a high 76.9, positioning the island economy as the 8th freest on the index. There has been progress in property rights and labour freedom compensated by decline in corruption and monetary freedom, the Heritage Foundation had noted.
The Government of Mauritius has taken initiatives against both corruption and money laundering because these two issues might affect the image of Mauritius as a centre for offshore and financial services, the foundation had further pointed out.
Coming back to the Afrobarometer findings, Nigeria’s perception of corruption is the highest at 2.22, compared to an average of 1.74 for the region. According to the Africa Economic Analysis, the high perception of corruption for the emerging West African economy arises due to the absence of a government crackdown on corruption and also, Nigerian leaders, as well as followers, are corrupt.
Among other countries in the emerging continent, Cameroon follows close on Nigeria’s heels with a corruption score of 2.20. Also, the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom by the Heritage Foundation had identified the Central African economy as high on corruption and low on economic freedom. The report had noted that the judiciary in the country is exposed to political interference and corruption while fundamentals of economic freedom are not well established or protected in Cameroon.
For Mali, another laggard on the Afrobarometer, the level of corruption perception stands at 2.14, only slightly lower than the two other countries. The West African economy faces issues like corruption and insecurity, which need to be tackled on an urgent basis.
Afrobarometer is a research project which is independent and nonpartisan and deals in providing scientifically reliable data on public opinion about social, political, and economic atmosphere in African countries.