NDC Manifesto Launch: 2 Claims by Pres. Mahama Fact-Checked – Both Half Truths

The NDC party launched its 2016 manifesto in Sunyani, last Saturday in the Brong Ahafo Region. President John Dramani Mahama made some claims at that event. Two of such claims were fact-checked by our team of fact-checkers. Both claims were found to be half-truths Below are the claims he made, the fact-checking verdicts and the basis for the verdicts.

Claim 1: This record is even made clearer if you analyse Ghana’s course on the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. This is the most credible corruption perception index in the world. Here again, our record is better than any other year between 2001 and 2008

Verdict: Half True

Explanation: Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is one of the major international indicators of public sector corruption. The CPI scores and ranks countries around the world on the level of perceived corruption in their public sectors, providing an annual snapshot of the pervasiveness of perceived corruption.

The President’s use of Transparency International’s CPI to indicate that the perception of corruption has fared better under his party’s watch than that of the opposition NPP though has some truth to it, is equally problematic.

Firstly, the CPI since 2012 has been calculated using an updated methodology that was fundamentally different from the earlier methodology. Transparency International has therefore clearly stated that “scores from the CPI 2011 and previous editions should not be compared with scores from 2012” and beyond. Therefore, the best option available to the fact-checking team was to analyse and compare the three years of the NDC (2009, 2010 and 2011) under the old CPI methodology against the 8 years of the NPP (2001-2008). From the analysis, the average CPI score under the NPP was 3.58 out of 10 whiles that of the NDC was 3.97 out of 10. This meant that, at least for the 3 years under the NDC, the Transparency International’s CPI score was slightly better than that of the NPP.

Secondly, looking at the consistently low scores recorded by Ghana on the CPI alone dispel any possible claim that corruption is relatively under check in the country. On a scale of 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 10 or 100 (perceived to be very clean), Ghana since 2000, has always scored below 5.0 or 50 score.

Table 1: Ghana’s Scores on Transparency International’s CPI

New Methodology New CPI Score
2015 47/100
2014 48/100
2013 46/100
2012 45/100
Average Score 46.5/100
Old Methodology Old CPI Score
2011 3.9/10
2010 4.1/10
2009 3.9/10
Average Score 3.97/10
2008 3.9/10
2007 3.7/10
2006 3.3/10
2005 3.5/10
2004 3.6/10
2003 3.3/10
2002 3.9/10
2001 3.4/10
Average Score 3.58/10

Source: Transparency International

Claim 2: Ghanaians are living longer per the Human Development Report of an average of 63 years life expectancy in Ghana. On this composite index we are second only to Cape Verde in West Africa and far ahead of other countries in the same sub region.

Verdict: Half True

Explanation: The measure of life expectancy in a country refers to the overall mortality level of the population of the country. It denotes the pattern of mortality that exits across all age groups in a given year – children and adolescents, adults and the elderly. Like Hon. Bagbin, President John Mahama’s claims about life expectancy in Ghana were found to be half true when checked.

Though according to the 2015 Human Development Report, the life expectancy of Ghanaians has been improving since the 1990s, the president overestimated the current state of the measure. Instead of the 63 years claimed by the President, Ghana’s life expectancy in 2014 was 61.4 years. Indeed, Ghana has not recorded 63 years life expectancy in any of the recent previous Human Development Reports.

However, the President was correct about Ghana’s position on the overall HDR composite index vis-à-vis the West African sub region. In 2014, Cape Verde was first in West Africa with an HDI rank of 122. Though Ghana had an HDI rank of 140 globally, it still placed second in West Africa.

Related articles