By Hope Nda
Transparency International’s 2022 Corruption Perception Index, CPI, has ranked Cameroon the 142nd least corrupt country in the world with a score of 26/100 in the data published on Tuesday, January 31.
Although Cameroon performed better than its immediate neighbours – Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Congo and Central African Republic – the country has however dropped from the 27 points it scored in 2021.
Based on the rankings, Cameroon is Africa’s 21st most corrupt country and the world’s 39th, far below Seychelles (70/100), Botswana and Cape Verde (60), which are flying Africa’s flag in terms of transparency.
The bottom countries on the CPI include Somalia (12/100), Syria and South Sudan (13) while top on the list is Denmark (90/100), followed by Finland and New Zealand (87).
The year 2022 is the first time Cameroon’s score is dropping in the corruption perception rankings since 2017. After falling from 26/100 in 2016 to 25 in 2017, the score for Cameroon remained consistent in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The country witnessed another rise from 25 points to 27/100 in 2021 before falling again in 2022.
The fall in Cameroon’s score might be thanks to several allegations of corruption that have rocked the public sector in the recent past, especially regarding the management of COVID-19 funds and construction of some sports infrastructure in the country.
Last November, the anti-corruption commission, CONAC, created in 2006 by the government stated that Cameroon lost FCFA 44 billion in 2021 to corruption.
In his end-of-year speech on December 31, 2022, President Paul Biya noted that corruption was rife in the country. He said the government was going to intensify the fight against the ill.
“Last year, I talked about the need to strengthen governance in the management of public affairs and to control government spending. Rest assured that this concern is constant and unwavering,” Biya said in his New Year address.
“I also want to reiterate that those who are illicitly amassing wealth by plundering the State, at whatever level, will be brought to book,” he added.