How Africa Fares In The Corruption Perceptions Index 2016


The Corruption Perceptions Index 2016 is out, the report is compiled by global anti-graft watchdog Transparency International and measures perceived levels of public sector corruption in 176 countries and territories worldwide. As with any report, the numbers and information can get confusing, looks at the interesting stats from the index.

How It Works

Countries are ranked on a scale of 0 which is the most corrupt to 100 which is the least corrupt. Forty-nine countries in Africa were reviews and only five scored above 50, staying inline with the global trend.

“In too many countries, people are deprived of their most basic needs and go to bed hungry every night because of corruption, while the powerful and corrupt enjoy lavish lifestyles with impunity,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.


Botswana remains the continent’s least corrupt country for the third consecutive year. It scored 60 due to the country’s corruption zero tolerance policy and high levels of honesty in most transactions both in public and private sectors.

Cape Verde comes second with a score of 59. President Jorge Carlos Fonseca who was re-elected for the second term, created a framework of continuously improving integrity system, transparency and ethical behavior in public offices.

São Tomé and Príncipe also witnessed a significant improvement as it gained four points from the previous score of 42 in 2015 to 46 in 2016. This was in the same year that the country held elections and had a smooth change of government.


Burkina Faso improved its score from 38 in 2015 to 42 in 2016. The fight against graft in the country improved after the government created a special court to deal with corruption cases together with other economic and financial crimes. South Africa and Senegal also improved their scores from 44 in 2015 to 45 in 2016.

Nigeria scored 26 in 2015 and was 28 in 2016. Kenya moved by one point to 26 in 2016. The report notes that Kenya, despite the adoption of a few anti-corruption measures including passing a law on the right to information, has a long way to go. It added that President Uhuru Kenyatta may need new strategies as Kenyan citizens go to the polls later this year.

In North Africa, the region has seen progression in the fight against graft since the Arab spring that transpired in the region a few years ago. Tunisia, is the least corrupt from the region with a score of 41, an improvement from 38 in 2015. Morocco came second in the region with a score of 37 a slight increase from the previous score of 36. Algeria and Egypt both dropped two points in their scores to 34 in 2016.


The countries perceived to be most corrupt in the continent are Somalia and South Sudan which were ranked position 176 and 175 respectively. Somalia has been marred with conflict for decades, the country achieved an improvement in their scores from 8 in 2015 to 10 in 2016. On the other hand, South Sudan dropped from a score of 15 to 11. This can be attributed to the conflict the country has been experiencing from 2015. Libya and Sudan both scored 14.


Transparency International notes that to end corruption, governments need to create and implement deep-rooted systematic reforms and for leaders who promise to fight graft during their campaigns to live up to their pledges once elected.

Maurice Oniang'o
Maurice Oniang'o is a versatile award-winning Kenyan Journalist. He has produced for highly rated Television programs such as Project Green, an incisive environmental show and Tazama, a half-hour documentary series, which were broadcast on Kenya Television Network (KTN). He has a keen interest in stories about environment, corruption, technology, security, health, education, human rights and governance. He has won various awards including: Environmental Reporter TV- AJEA, Thomson Foundation Young Journalist of the Year (FPA), among others. He is a Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa Fellow (Financial Journalism), Africa Uncensored Investigate 101 Fellow and a member of Journalists for Transparency (J4T), a collective of journalist and storytellers that seek to explore issues of transparency and corruption around the globe. Maurice is currently a Freelance Documentary Filmmaker and Writer based in Nairobi, Kenya.