Measurement of corruption in Africa needs to be revisited: ECA report

Kigali, 28 October 2016 (ECA )– Existing measures of corruption in Africa are predominantly perception-based, and ignore the international dimension of corrupt acts and practices, such as illicit financial outflows, according to the fourth Africa Governance Report (AGR IV) launched today in Kigali, Rwanda

The report titled “Measuring Corruption in Africa: the international dimension matters” was launched jointly by the  UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Rwanda

It argues that perception-based methods of measuring corruption remain inadequately developed and current indices on corruption do not present a reliable and full picture of the situation in Africa.

The AGR IV challenges the traditionally narrow notion of corruption as the “abuse of public office for private gain”, which places too much emphasis on public office and neglects corrupt tendencies prevalent in private and non-State sectors. Policymakers must understand the importance and implications of viewing corruption as a broader phenomenon where private agents share significant responsibility.

During the launch, Ms. Eunice Ajambo, ECA Economic Affairs Officer  said that “To combat corruption, Africa needs good governance institutions and policies that are not exclusively domestic-oriented, since corruption in the continent is not exclusively the making of Africans.”

The report calls for all stakeholders to rethink corruption measurements in general. Because decisions for investment and aid allocation are often based on information from corruption indices and rankings, African countries and partners need to focus on approaches to measuring corruption that are fact-based and built on more objective criteria. 


Issued by:

Office for Eastern Africa
Economic Commission for Africa