In a Transparency International (TI) 2020 CPI report published today, Ghana scored 43 out of 100 points, improving on its 2019 ranking by five places.
In 2019 and 2018, Ghana was ranked 80th (with 41 points) and 78th respectively out of 180 countries and territories.
Sub-Saharan Africa ranking
In Africa, Seychelles maintained the highest ranking with a score of 66, followed by Botswana (60) and Cabo Verde (58). At the bottom of the index are Sudan (16), Somalia (12) and South Sudan (12).
Other African countries that were ranked as least corrupt than Ghana – which placed 10th in sub-Saharan Africa – included Rwanda (49th), Mauritius (52nd), Namibia (57th), Sao Tome and Principe (63rd), Senegal (67th) and South Africa (69th).
The 2020 edition of the CPI ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, drawing on 13 expert assessments and surveys of business executives. It uses a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
Denmark and New Zealand top the index, with 88 points. Syria, Somalia and South Sudan come last, with 14, 12 and 12 points, respectively.
Since 2012, the earliest point of comparison in the current CPI methodology, 26 countries significantly improved their CPI scores, including Ecuador (39), Greece (50), Guyana (41), Myanmar (28) and South Korea (61).
Twenty-two countries significantly decreased their scores, including Bosnia & Herzegovina (35), Guatemala (25), Lebanon (25), Malawi (30), Malta (53) and Poland (56).
Nearly half of countries have been stagnant on the index for almost a decade, indicating stalled government efforts to tackle the root causes of corruption. More than two-thirds score below 50.
Meanwhile, the United States achieved its worst score since 2012, with 67 points.
“In addition to alleged conflicts of interest and abuse of office at the highest level, in 2020 weak oversight of the US$1 trillion COVID-19 relief package raised serious concerns and marked a retreat from longstanding democratic norms promoting accountable government,” the report said.
To reduce corruption and better respond to future crises, Transparency International recommends that all governments strengthen oversight institutions to ensure resources reach those most in need.
“Anti-corruption authorities and oversight institutions must have sufficient funds, resources and independence to perform their duties,” the report states .
TI also wants governments to ensure open and transparent contracting to combat wrongdoing, identify conflicts of interest and ensure fair pricing.