Ghana’s Anti-Corruption Drive Catches David Cameron’s Attention?


Ghana, might be doing some right with respect to its fight against corruption, as the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has described Nigeria and Afghanistan as “fantastically corrupt” in a conversation with the Queen.

The Prime Minister, was talking about this week’s anti-corruption summit in London which President John Dramani Mahama is one of the guests. Ghana, has made some sturdy improvement in the fight against corruption as result of the media vigilance and the government commitment towards addressing the menace.

“We’ve got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain… Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world,” Mr. Cameron said.

Asked whether the PM, knew he was being filmed, Number 10 said: “There were multiple cameras in the room.”

After Mr. Cameron’s comments, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby intervened to say: “But this particular president is not corrupt… he’s trying very hard,” before Speaker, John Bercow said: “They are coming at their own expense, one assumes?”

The conversation took place at Buckingham Palace at an event to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday.

BBC diplomatic correspondent, James Landale, described the PM’s comments as a “truthful gaffe”, because the two countries involved, were widely perceived as having a corruption problem. Afghanistan was ranked at 167, ahead of only Somalia and North Korea, in Transparency International’s 2015 corruption perception index.

Nigeria was at 136. ‘Head-on’ Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, won elections last year promising to fight widespread corruption in Africa’s largest oil producer. The government, will host world and business leaders at the summit on Thursday in London, aiming to “galvanise a global response to tackle corruption”.

Speaking ahead of the summit, Mr. Cameron said: “For too long there has been a taboo about tackling this issue head-on. “The summit will change that. Together we will push the fight against corruption to the top of the international agenda where it belongs.”

Last year, Mr Cameron, was recorded talking about Yorkshire people “hating each other” – and he was previously caught revealing how the Queen “purred” with pleasure, when he told her the Scottish independence referendum result.

Asked whether Mr. Cameron, had apologised to the Queen over the corruption remarks, his official spokesman, said the presidents of Nigeria and Afghanistan, had “acknowledged the scale of the corruption challenge they face in their countries”.

Ghana improved slightly in the fight against corruption in the sub-region in the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) by anti-graft agency Transparency International.

Ghana had ranked the 7th African country with high level of corruption in the latest index, an improvement over the years. According to a statement from the local chapter of Transparency International, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII),

“The CPI 2015 scored Ghana 47 out of clean score of 100 and ranked the country 56 out of 168 countries.”

Thus, Ghana slid back by one percentage point from the 48 points scored in 2014, but better than its performance in 2012, when it scored 45 and 2013, when it scored 46 points,” the statement said.

Ghana scored below six African countries – Botswana – 63, Cape Verde – 55, Seychelles – 55, Rwanda – 54, Mauritius and Namibia, which scored 53. The CPI 2015, made use of eight data sources out of the 12 data sources to compute the index for Ghana.

The statement had said that, the sources that have assessed Ghana with regards to corruption, are the World Bank (CPIA) – 47, the African Development Bank (55), the Bertelsmith Foundation (45), the World Economic Forum (33), the World Justice Project (37), the Economic intelligence Unit (54), the PRS International Country Risk Guide (50) and the HIS Global Insight (52).

The score made by Ghana, is said to be an average of the scores from the data sources of the institutions listed above. It, however, stated that Ghana’s score and ranking show that “the country has performed much better than several other African countries, including South Africa, Senegal and Tunisia.”

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