Seychelles maintains best position in Africa on corruption index
(Seychelles News Agency) – Seychelles’ score in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) survey released on Thursday makes the island nation the country with the highest score in sub-Saharan Africa.
The index, released by Berlin-based Transparency International, measures perception of corruption in the public sector using a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is clean.
With a score of 66 points, Seychelles ranks 27th out of 180 countries globally. The 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean held the same position in 2019. Since 2012, the earliest point of comparison in the current CPI methodology, the island nation has risen 14 places.
Seychelles has scored a 66 for three straight years, its highest-ever score in the annual exercise.
Chrystold Chetty, the chairman of the Transparency Initiative Seychelles (TIS), said that he and his team were expecting either to gain or lose one point, as no changes have happened in 2019 and 2020.
“Had cases brought to the attention of the Anti-Corruption Commission gone to court and more cases registered, maybe we could have climbed higher. However, we have continued to put in place certain laws and frameworks such as the Anti-Money Laundering Act that has been revised and the unexplained wealth law that has been put in place,” said Chetty.
Transparency International derived Seychelles’ ranking from four sources: economist intelligence unit country ratings, global insight country risk ratings, varieties of democracy project and the World Economic Forum.
Chetty said that the Transparency Initiative Seychelles notes the limitations of the CPI methodology and “it still remains that we need to put into context how the calculations are made.”
“We are in the process of liaising with Transparency International to see if and how chapters can be involved in the process. COVID-19 has been at the centre of much deliberations throughout 2020 and TIS recognises that the corruption elements which are rampant in most other countries simply do not factor within the Seychelles’ context,” Chetty said in a press communique on Thursday.
He explained that Seychelles does not have large pharmaceutical companies battling out the rights to distribute vaccines nor have internal price wars on how much the vaccine will cost.
“COVID-19 limitations have undoubtedly slowed down the work which institutions mandated with advocacy work such as ourselves, TIS, and investigative work the Anti-Corruption Commission have done throughout the year,” said Chetty.
In 2020 Seychelles has seen a change in leadership, following presidential election results which moved a new political party into the presidency for the first time in 43 years.
“TIS has noted the stance and sentiments of the new regime on corruption matters and remains hopeful that with the correct synergies, we can disrupt this ailment,” he continued.
According to the Index, persistent corruption is undermining healthcare systems and contributing to democratic backsliding amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It also recognised that countries that perform well on the index invest more in health care, are better able to provide universal health coverage and are less likely to violate democratic norms and institutions or the rule of law.
Sharing the top position of the index are New Zealand and Denmark, each scoring 88. On the other end of the spectrum are Somalia and South Sudan with a score of 12 out of 100.
The chair of Transparency International, Delia Ferreira Rubio, said that “COVID-19 is not just a health and economic crisis. It is a corruption crisis. And one that we are currently failing to manage.”
“The past year has tested governments like no other in memory, and those with higher levels of corruption have been less able to meet the challenge. But even those at the top of the CPI must urgently address their role in perpetuating corruption at home and abroad,” said Ferreira Rubio.