Top 20 African Countries Stink Of Corruption

Women sell food from their canoe at Makoko fishing community in LagosLagos: The Makoko slum in oil rich Nigeria crippled by corruption

In the abundance of water, is the fool thirsty? Africa is blessed with natural resources such as gold, oil, diamonds, cobalt, iron, copper, uranium, silver, bauxite, cocoa beans and petroleum etc. Unfortunately the standard of living of many people in the continent is deplorable. This is largely due to corrupt governments ruling many countries in the African continent.

Transparency International has been publishing the corruption perceptions index (CPI) since the turn of the new millennium. If a country has a CPI of 100 it is very clean. If the score is 0, then the country is highly corrupt.

Here is a brief overview of the top 20 most corrupt nations in Africa as of 2014, according to Transparency International.

=24. Mozambique (CPI score: 31)
Although the government of Mozambique has taken steps to fight corruption, its still a big problem. Corruption remains in both the public and donors, who support almost half of the nation’s budget.

=24. Sierra Leone (CPI score: 31)
Systematic corruption has caused weak governance and widespread poverty in Sierra Leone. The anti-corruption institutions still lack resources, staff and expertise.

=24. Tanzania (CPI score: 31)
Although there are comprehensive laws to fight corruption, its still a serious problems in Tanzania with bribery is often demanded in the business sector.

23. Mauritania (CPI score: 30)
Corruption has become deeply entrenched in Mauritania. Part of what fuels corruption in this nation is the insufficient information or absence of transparency about local companies, the identities of their owners, and financial report.

=21. Gambia (CPI score: 29)
Gambia’s judiciary is subject to pervasive political interference, and there is corruption in many parts of the government.

=21. Togo (CPI score: 29)
Corruption in Togo is common and those involved rarely punish. Corruption more among prison and police officers, and members of the judiciary.

20. Madagascar (CPI score: 28)
Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries and has had a negative growth due to corruption.

=18. Cameroon (CPI score: 27)
In Cameroon, many corrupt civil servants drive around in their expensive luxury cars. People who try to bring these corrupt officers to justice pay a high price.

=18. Nigeria (CPI score: 27)
Political corruption pervades Nigeria. The rise of public administration and discovery of petroleum and natural gas have led to corrupt practices.

=16. Comoros (CPI score: 26)
Corruption remained a serious problem in Comoros, it lacks rule of law. The nation gained independence from France in 1975. Since then it has witnessed around 20 coups or coup attempts.

=16. Uganda (CPI score: 26)
Even though the country has experienced high growth rates in recent years, corruption remains widespread at all levels.

=14. Guinea (CPI score: 25)
Rampant corruption in Guinea is hindering economic growth and increasing drug trafficking.

=14. Kenya (CPI score: 25)
Political corruption in the post-colonial government of Kenya has had a history which spans the era of the Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi’s KANU governments to Mwai Kibaki’s PNU government. Experts estimate that an average urban Kenyan pays 16 bribes in a month.

13. Central African Republic (CPI score: 24)
Growth of Central African Republic is significantly hindered by wide spread corruption. Corruption is rife and undermines timber and diamond industries.

12. Republic of Congo (CPI score: 23)
In spite of its oil wealth, Republic of Congo is one of the most indebted nations in the world. This is largely due to rampant corruption.

=10. Chad (CPI score: 22)
Feud and corruption are blocking Chad’s economic growth. Revenue from oil is not spent responsibly. Corruption rules this nation.

=10. Democratic Republic of Congo (CPI score: 22)
As the nation emerges from a long period of violence and instability, it struggles with a legacy of entrenched corruption at all levels.

=9. Zimbabwe (CPI score: 21)
Corruption in Zimbabwe has become endemic within its political, private and civil sectors. In 2011, finance minister Tendai Biti claimed that at least $1 billion in diamond related revenue owed to the national treasury remains unaccounted for.

8. Burundi (CPI score: 20)
Despite the establishment of anti-corruption agencies, Burundi is remains a corrupt country in sub-Saharan Africa.

=6. Angola (CPI score: 19)
Corruption is a pervasive phenomenon in Angola. The current government is working on containing corruption by enacting laws and enforcing integrity systems.

=6. Guinea Bissau (CPI score: 19)
Guinea Bissau was once hailed as a potential model for African development. Today it is one of the poorest nations in the world. This is largely due to corruption among high-ranking officials.

=4. Eritrea (CPI score: 18)
People in Eritrea are living in a fear-ridden environment. Corruption and greed are rampant among the members of the ruling party.

=4. Libya (CPI score: 18)
Before the downfall of the Qadhafi regime in 2011, weak rule of law and systematic corruption had largely marginalized private sector activity in the nation. Corruption is the biggest problem facing Libya today.

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Former Nigeria’s head of state, late Sani Abacha stole $458 million and hid in bank accounts around the world, while thousands of Nigerians live in poverty.

3. South Sudan (CPI score: 15)

Since independence, South Sudan has taken steps to promote transparency and accountability in an endeavor to eliminate corruption. Unfortunately political will is lacking in effective implementation of anti-corruption policies.

2. Sudan (CPI score: 11)
Top ranking government officials are frequently involved in corrupt practices in Sudan. This has impacted the economic growth negatively. It is a huge challenge to do business in Sudan. Sectors like construction and transportation are prone to corruption.

1. Somalia (CPI score: cool
The Federal Republic of Somalia is located in the horn of Africa. Around 10 million people live in this country. It is the most corrupt nation in the world. There is lack of accountability in receipt and expenditure of public funds. Currently a parliamentary finance committee has been established to oversee all withdrawal transactions from the Central Bank, which is Somalia’s official monetary authority.

If the above-mentioned nations tackle corruption effectively, they will be able to enhance the standard of living of their people significantly.

Source: http://www.richestlifestyle.com/most-corrupt-countries-in-africa/

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My Motherland Offers Riches To The Tourist, So Why Are So Many Ghanaians Queuing Up To Come To Britain?

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Ghana Says ‘Awaaba’- Welcome

A tale of two countries

Article by Henry Bonsu: A journalist and broadcaster (Originally published in TheGuardian)

While my primary government, in London, has been struggling to persuade people in Britain it has done enough to keep out the huddled masses from eastern Europe, my secondary government, in Accra, has also been preoccupied with travel. But rather than keeping undesirables out, Ghana’s government is more concerned with bringing people in: to spend their pounds, dollars and euros on business and tourism. And Ghanaians living in Britain are being asked to do their bit to help turn their country into Africa’s number one destination.

The tourism minister, Jake Obestebi-Lamptey, wants us to tell people that the former Gold Coast has become a “bird-watcher’s paradise, eco-tourism haven and an adventurer’s dream”. I’ve been wondering, though, how we can persuade the locals that they are sitting on such a goldmine. Stroll past the British high commission in Accra on any given evening and you’ll see Ghanaians bedding down, hoping to be the first in the visa queue the next morning.

And the 35,000 Ghanaians who were granted short-term entry to Britain this year, and the similar number of rejects, are just a fraction of those who dream of fleeing poverty. With doctors, nurses and teachers in the vanguard, ministers have been insisting on loyalty clauses for ambitious graduates. Not for nothing are we called the “Jews of Africa”, with an estimated 200,000 Ghanaians and their descendants settling in this country alone since independence.

Some people are used to thinking of Ghana as a “beacon” country of stability and inward investment – the symbolic destination for African-Caribbeans and Americans who wish to reclaim their heritage. Didn’t the IMF and World Bank lavish praise on former president Jerry Rawlings and his successor John Kufuor for their growth rates of 5%? Haven’t Japan and the EU given Ghana millions of dollars for skills training and poverty reduction?

Indeed they have. But when I visit my motherland this summer, it will, once again, be a tale of two countries. I’ll marvel at the beach hotels, luxury estates and free press, and revel in the power of the pound, which takes me from bohemian Brixton to the elite of Ghanaian society in six hours.

But this is the Ghana of the expatriate, and the rich business and political classes, who travel in and out of Britain, but have no intention of staying because their standard of living cannot be replicated in any European country.

The other Ghana is that of my cousin, a pastor, who ministers in the densely populated areas of Greater Accra. Maamobi is typical; a district of shanty housing, open sewers, malaria and mass unemployment. If you are lucky enough to have a job, your minimum wage has just gone up to 11,000 cedis (65p) a day.

My aunt is a typical resident, full of incredible hospitality, but she talks about her own future with little ambition, investing all hope in the children she’s managed to send abroad. Swatting away flies under the burning sun, she chats about whether things can change in “Mother Ghana”, with frequent references to gye nyame (“only God can help us”).

Perhaps such fatalism is understandable in a 60-year-old, who has witnessed colonial rule followed by decades of strong-man politics. But it is more distressing to see the fight go out of younger people, who can spend years in limbo, waiting for an overseas relative to pay some middle man a £3,000 “connection fee” to ease their passage. Ironically these are the same Ghanaians who, once here, will hold down two or three jobs, and contribute their share of an annual $1.5bn in remittances to sustain their family.

When cousins ask me how life is in Britain, I warn that although the 60s Nkrumah generation – which includes my parents – have largely succeeded in grooming their children for a middle-class future, things are more unpleasant for recent arrivals; that unless they have key qualifications (medical, educational or social work), they will have few choices – hence around 60% of London’s parking attendants are Ghanaian or Nigerian.

Perhaps naively I offer to help them do business locally alongside the mechanics, seamstresses and shopkeepers, who somehow manage to make ends meet, but then I hear of Ghana’s frighteningly high interest and inflation rates, the soaring price of utilities (a consequence of foreign-inspired privatisation), and the stop-go electricity supply. If, like my uncle in Kumasi, you take up farming, which comprises 36% of Ghana’s GDP, could you compete with cheap subsidised goods from the west, without being given access to European and US markets?

Would you wait for change to be delivered by Blair and Geldof’s African Commission? No, in those circumstances, £6 an hour as a security guard or a cleaner in a faraway country may sound like a better way to make money. Perhaps, like the dozens of others who’ll be bedding down outside the British high commission tonight, you’d rehearse your lines in preparation for an interview, and perhaps a passport to life in London’s underbelly. So, if you’re a British traveller huffing at the occasional delay at Heathrow, spare a thought for the other kind of global traffic heading in your direction with tourism the last thing on its mind.

Great African-Americans Who Were Once In Ghana

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Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay’s) visit to Ghana in 1964: In photo with Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, first president of Ghana. 

Among all the West African countries, Ghana, the country formally called Gold Coast, is one of the famous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from being one of the peaceful countries in West Africa, Ghana has been one of the most visited countries in Africa by Africans in the Diaspora.

There is a reason Ghana is attracted to Africans in the Diaspora. Echoes of sad music in the air can be heard from Cape Coast, attracting thousands of tourists including African-Americans and other Africans in the Diaspora to visit Ghana, where their ancestors were packed like sardine into ships for slavery.

Apart from the fact that many Africans in the Diaspora go to Ghana to trace their roots or find their ancestors, Ghana was once under one of Africa’s most powerful and intelligent leaders, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He was the first African statesman to achieve world recognition when he became president of the new Republic of Ghana in 1960, after Ghana attains its independence in 1957.

He campaigned ceaselessly for African solidarity and for the liberation of southern Africa from white settler rule. His greatest achievement was to win the right of black peoples in Africa, to have a vote and to determine their own destiny. Nkrumah’s popularity which was like a bush fire in the dry season, brought him fame and also created a lot of enemies against him.

Many famous African-Americans, including Malcolm X, W.E.B Du Bois, Stevie Wonder, Maya Angelou etc. were all in Ghana. In the summer of 1964, Muhammad Ali took a trip to Ghana, a visit the boxer called “a return to the fatherland.” In the VIP room of the Accra Airport, he was greeted by Ghana’s Foreign Minister Kojo Botsio. According to report,  about 10,000 African Americans visit Ghana yearly, and almost 3,000 of them live in the capital, Accra.

On February 24th, 1966, Nkrumah was overthrown in a coup, master-minded by the CIA, after surviving many assassination attempts. He fled to Republic of Guinea to be with his friend Sekou Touré for a number of years and spent his later years in exile in Bucharest, Romania and  died on 27 April 1972.

African Children Exposed to Violence, Brutality and Victimization

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What a shame? A defenseless African child being beaten by ‘law enforcement’ agents

There are problems brewing in Africa against children, that need attention. Africa is not only known for its rich mineral resources but one of the brutal continents in the world. Lack of education and corruption have weakened the continent’s economic infrastructure without remedy. The result is often ethnic conflicts, political unrest, crime, and brutality against children.

If children are not forced into child labour and soldier, they become victims of political unrest and abuse.  It is estimated that tens of millions of children worldwide are street children, according to UNICEF. For example, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, over 100,000 homeless children can be found living on the streets.

Neglected, unwanted, abused and many as orphans, children get entangled in African conflicts they didn’t call for. They are beaten mercilessly by adults, while the so-called head of states, sit without any efforts to save or help the children, all because Africa’s politics is not for the people but for greed and corruption.

It’s normal for every country to have a leader, that’s the reason we have world leaders, but if one sees the problems children pass through in certain countries, including African countries, you may wonder if that country has a leader. Without proper care, many street children turn to glue sniffing, affecting their health badly, while many become juvenile criminals.

Years after independence, despite all the abundant resources, many African countries still wallow in poverty, feeding on a bread of sorrow. State funds are secretly deposited at Swiss banks, while the common Africans, including children, continue to suffer, due to poor educational and health facilities.

Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping, ex-Chinese leader, once said “We should give Africa technological know-how, so that African governments can transform their resources on the spot and create jobs and markets for their people locally, regionally, at the continental level and internationally.

Africa must cease to be forever the provider of raw materials to other people. Africans must never sell their land. They should say no to land grabbing by big agro-business multinational companies that displace African natives.”

These great statement towards Africa’s development was made years back, when China was crawling like a baby learning how to walk. Today China is rubbing shoulders with great countries including America and Japan, leaving Africa far behind.

If Africa can’t do it today, they can never do it tomorrow, because, for ages, we are like fools, living in abundant of water, yet we are still thirsty.

Exploring Slave Dungeons At Cape Coast Castle

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Tourists exploring a slave dungeon at the Cape Coast castle

The mere mention of slavery brings bad memories, as it harboured unimaginable evil act, as thousands of Africans were captured under inhuman circumstances into overcrowded dungeons and transported across the Atlantic to the New World. Even though slavery is long abolished, the African still bears the psychological scars, as he fights to regain his lost identity and respect among mankind on the surface of the earth today.

The slave trade in Ghana mainly took place at coastal towns, but I wish to write about Cape Coast, my country of birth, which was the center of the British slave trade for almost 150 years. Cape Coast is located in the central region of Ghana. It was the capital of Gold Coast between 1700 until 1877 when the capital was shifted to Accra. Ghana replaced Gold Coast when the country achieved its independence in 1957.

Echoes of sad music in the air can be heard from Cape Coast, attracting thousands of tourists including African-Americans and other Africans in the Diaspora to visit the place, where their ancestors were packed like a sardine into ships for slavery. There is a proverb in Ghana which says “Man doesn’t cry.” I’m beginning to question this proverb if it has any elements of truth because any African in the Diaspora who visits Cape Coast castle can’t hold back his tears.

The psychological effect and emotions over Cape Coast Castle, which still has the remnants of the  slave trade, are unbearable. President Obama, wife, Michelle and children can’t forget the experience of touring the preserved sites. One can’t escape the cold waves which go through the spine. Even though many Africans in the Diaspora haven’t been to Ghana to trace their roots or visit Cape Coast, others had. The Pan African Historical Festival, simply called PANAFEST is a cultural event which has brought thousands of African-Americans to visit Cape Coast.

Visiting Cape Coast Castle to understand the pain and suffering endured by the millions of slaves is an important step for African-Americans and other Africans in the Diaspora to be closer to Africa. It is sad to note that many hate to be referred to as Africans, even though history about their origin isn’t a fabricated story. It seems that’s the way to help forget this bitter experience, but there is nothing satisfying than visiting the continent of your origin to discover the reality aspects of a sad journey.

Forts and castles built by Europeans between 1482 and 1786, serving as slave depots are still visible in Ghana. Apart from the Cape Coast Castle, are also Elmina and Christiansburg Castles.  Ghana invites you. Be part of other tourists to visit Cape Coast, to see the male dungeon, female dungeon, remnants and the reality of cruelty of slavery, committed by White Slave Masters.

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Could Poor Drainage System Leads To Flood And Fire Disaster In Ghana?

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Gas explosion in the city of Accra: Wednesday, June 3, 2015.

Ghana is mourning once again, after the Melcom shopping mall disaster in 2012. Without warning tragedy has struck. “This loss of life is catastrophic and almost unprecedented. A lot of people have lost their lives and I am lost for word.” These are the comments of Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama, while visiting the scene of the blast, following a heavy torrential rainfall in the city of Accra.

During a heavy rainfall, people taking shelter from the rain at a gas station, unexpectedly find themselves engulfed by fire, following an explosion. According to eyewitness, the the strong blazing fire burnt everyone across its path. The Red Cross and emergency services retrieved dozens of bodies from the gas station in central Accra, where the fire occurred on Wednesday night, at about 10 pm.

Waste disposal, recycling and poor drainage systems, remain a key challenge facing many African countries, including Ghana. It’s not arguably that many cities in Africa are extremely dirty with garbage-choked drains, gutters and blockage of sewage pipes. Indiscriminately disposal of wastes such as plastic and polythene plastic and uncollected waste blocked holes and gutters brewing bad odour that engulfs the environment.

Apart from malaria and other tropical diseases, poor drainage system often leads to common floods, leading to death and destruction of properties. In the past, Ghana’s capital and its surroundings have experienced heavy rain and flooding, often causing mass destruction and taking lives. The question: How can the Ghanaian government prevent such tragedies?

It is always easier said than done, but there wouldn’t be any success or failure if one doesn’t try to do something. The Ghanaian government should consider embarking on a good waste disposal and underground drainage facilities. Ghana deserves it as a great nation, years after independence.