At the beginning of the year, the news media reported that Ghana improved marginally on the 2018 Corruption Perception Index (CPI), by one point more than its 2017 score of 40.
“This score is a positive departure from the continuous drop the country has been experiencing since 2015,” a release by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), was quoted as saying.
According to the report, Ghana is the 78 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries. The 2018 CPI report further said Ghana averaged 64.71 from 1998 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 81 in 2017 and a record low of 50 in 2002.
In spite of a good performance by the country, recent alleged corrupt practices by some public servants may have negative impact on the country’s ranking in future if measures are not taken to combat corruption satisfactorily.
Indeed, anti-corruption crusaders identify corruption as the single greatest challenge that erodes and defeats efforts made by many nations, especially in the developing world, towards sustainable development as well as the promotion and strengthening of democratic institutions and values.
In general, they define corruption as a form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organisation entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire illicit benefit, and points out that political corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain.
According to the anti-corruption crusaders, the most common causes of corruptionare the political and economic environment, professional ethics and morality, among others.
Crucially, corruption affects us all. It threatens sustainable economic development, ethical values and justice; it destabilises our society, endangers the rule of law and more importantly, undermines the institutions and values of our democracy.
In fact, studies have shown that many countries with emerging economies suffer from a high level of corruption that slows their overall development. The entire society is affected as a result of corrupt practices at different levels of the society.
More importantly, high levels of corruption damage growth, development and affect the country’s ability to invest in critical socio-economic needs of the people which invariably contribute to increase poverty.
It is against this backdrop that the Ghanaian Times is calling on all Ghanaians to view the fight against corruption as the responsibility of all. The tendency to blame government all the time and think that it is the only one to combat it is unhelpful.
For us, the government has shown enough commitment in fighting corruption by instituting reforms in the public administration and finance management, upholding transparency and ensuring access to information. In addition to the creation of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, all in a bid to combat corruption in the country, state institutions such as the Economic and Organised Crime Office are also mandated to fight the canker.
It is for these that we employ all citizens to support the government in the fight against corruption in the country.
Already, Civil Society Organisations, media and some individuals have been at the forefront in the fight against corruption and it will be in the interest of the country if all citizens join in the crusade.
The government alone cannot win the fight against corruption. It is a fight we must all join.