The 2019 Edition of the Global Corruption Barometer Survey has revealed an incredibly ground breaking approval rating from citizens in the country’s unprecedented resolve to clamp down on graft as it places Sierra Leone 3rd in Africa on citizens’ perception on the general progress their countries are making against corruption—which is considered the biggest inhibiting factor to Africa’s realization of sustainable growth and rapid development.
The Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa, published by Transparency International in partnership with Afro-barometer is the largest, most detailed survey which gauges citizens’ reaction on the prevalence of corruption and the efforts by their Governments to curtail the malaise. This year’s survey—which is the 10th edition— solicited views from 47, 000 citizens from 35 countries across Africa.
In the latest report, Sierra Leoneans have expressed an unprecedented approval of the strides the country has been making in the war on corruption that was declared by President Rtd. Brig. Julius Maada Bio, which Francis Ben Kaifala Esq is leading. According to the particulars of the survey report, only 43% of citizens now think corruption has increased in the previous 12 months– which means a whopping 57% now believes that there is a reduction in corruption in the period under review; this is in sharp contrast to the 2015 survey report where 70% of Sierra Leoneans held the view that corruption was on the increase.
Additionally, in this current report, 66% of citizens validated that the current Government is doing extremely good in the fight against corruption– compared to 2015 report where 81% believed that government was performing poorly in the fight against corruption.
Another extreme positive to take from this report is the views expressed by citizens in relation to the massive reduction of corruption in different institutions: as low as 24% believes there a prevalence of corruption in the Presidency—compared to 48% who held such view in the 2015 report;
25% believes there is corruption amongst Members of Parliament—compared to 50% who also held such view in 2015;
33% generally believes Government Officials are corrupt—a significant improvement to the 55% who held such view;
56% believes there is corruption in the Police—compared to 59% in 2015; 33% believes Judges and Magistrates are corrupt—compared to 47% in 2015;
10% believes Religious leaders are corrupt—compared to 25% in 2015; 39% believes Business Executives are corrupt—compared to 53% in 2015; lastly, 17% believes Traditional rulers are corrupt—compared to 35% in 2015.
Furthermore, only 39% of ordinary citizens think that they can make a difference in the fight against corruption; which means, the country still has some catching up to do in enlisting the requisite public participation in its effort to clamp down on graft. However, slight improvement is still made in this regard compared to 2015 where only 32% believed they could make a difference in the fight against corruption.
This latest report by the Global corruption watchdog—Transparency International– is a clear testament to the country’s rapid changing fortunes in the fight against corruption; and further justifies the great extent to which these efforts are contributing to laundering the image of the country once replete with rampant corruption; which led citizens to lose immense confidence in our national corruption control efforts.
That Sierra Leone is now ranked above countries like Mauritius, Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, etc. in citizens’ perception to general efforts by their Governments against corruption is a great win for our country; and justifies that our country is on an irreversible path to sustainably control corruption. The Radical Transparency Approach—which has seen the fight graduate to fierce but fair level – by the Anti-Corruption Commission and Government of Sierra Leone in general in the last twelve (12) months in the areas of:
Non-Conviction Asset based recovery (where about $2 million dollars have been recovered from corrupt officials); the creation of special division in the High Court for the handling of Anti-Corruption matters; the tabling of an Anti-Corruption Amendment Bill in Parliament which is geared towards consolidating the fight against corruption; the incorporation of the Pay No Bribe Campaign into the mainstream ACC work (with sponsorship now handled by the Government of Sierra Leone); the high conviction rates in courts; widening of public education against the evils of corruption; and, many other accumulation of successes in the fight against corruption have become the highlights of President Bio’s flagship and innovative New Direction leadership.