Akufo-Addo’s Claim on Corruption in CNN Interview Completely False

On Monday, May 3, 2021, President Akufo-Addo granted an interview to CNN’s Zain Asher. They discussed Ghana’s economic development, business growth, and corruption.

During the interview, Zain Asher asked Akufo-Addo what his government had done to fight corruption in the country.

“One of your important mandate aside from fixing the economy is of course tackling corruption, are you proud the way your government has dealt with corruption, what steps specifically have you made in trying root it out?” she asked.

In his response, President Akufo-Addo indicated that his fight against corruption had resulted in Ghana’s improvement in corruption rankings.

“Am I satisfied that we’ve been effective? I will say yes. A lot has been done, and it has reflected in Ghana’s growing position and rankings of corruption in the world. We’ve gone up several notches since I came into office because we are dealing with these matters at the basic level,” the president said.

But has Ghana indeed improved in corruption rankings?

Fact-Check Ghana has verified the president’s response on corruption and concludes it’s completely false. Below is the explanation.

High Rank on Corruption Perception Index

Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is the most notable and widely used indicator of corruption worldwide. The annual Corruption Perception Index (CPI) provides insight into how citizens perceive the presence of corruption in public office in a given year.

The CPI scores and ranks countries/territories based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be by experts and business executives who deal with public officials and government agencies.

 Below is Ghana’s CPI score from 2013 – 2020

Year Score Rank
2013 46 63/180
2014 48 61/180
2015 47 56/180
2016 43 70/180
2017 40 81/180
2018 41 78/180
2019 41 80/180
2020 43 75/180

Source: Transparency International

It must be noted that the CPI uses a scale of 0-100, where zero (0) is the highest corrupt perception and 100 is no corruption perception. First (1st) is the lowest rank of corruption perception among of 180 countries

From the Table above, since Akufo-Addo came into office (2017-2020), Ghana’s performance on the Corruption Perception Index has dropped when compared to the previous years. Thus, the perception of corruption in governance is high compared to the previous years.

The CPI indicates that the worst CPI score under the erstwhile Mahama-led government is the best CPI score under the incumbent Akufo-Addo-led government.

High rank on Global Corruption Index

Global Corruption Index (GCI) is another world ranking of corruption produced by Switzerland-based Global Risk Profiles since 2018. The GCI provides an assessment of the state of corruption and other white-collar crimes throughout the world.

The GCI also indicates that the incidence of corruption is worsening in Ghana. The most recent GCI report (2020) indicates that Ghana’s rank dropped further when compared to the country’s position in the previous year, 2019.

Ghana, which ranked 90th in 2019, dropped to 92nd in 2020. Below is a screenshot from the table on Global Risk Profiles’ website.

Afrobarometer surveys show rising perception of Corruption

Meanwhile, data from the rounds of surveys from the Afrobarometer also indicates a rising perception of corruption among Ghanaians about the Akufo-Addo led government. Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in countries across Africa.

In the table below, Fact-Check Ghana presents findings from the Afrobarometer on same questions on corruption posed to Ghanaians in their 2017 and 2019 rounds of surveys.

Question Response in 2017 Response in 2019
Increment in the level of corruption in the country over the past year 33% 52.6%
Perception of Corruption among President and Officials in his office (Some, Most and All of them) 76% 80.5%

 

Thus, while in 2017 33% of Ghanaians said there was an increase in corruption over the past year, in 2019 the number rose to 52.6%. Also, while 76% of Ghanaians thought that either some, most, or all of the president and officials in his office were involved in corruption in 2017, the number rose to 80.5% in 2019.

The data from the CPI, GCI, and the Afrobarometer surveys indicate that contrary to President Akufo-Addo’s claim of Ghana’s improvement in corruption ranking in the world, the country is rather deteriorating.

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