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Kenya has dropped one point in the global Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2018 released by the Transparency International on Wednesday. 

Kenya obtained a score of 27 out of 100 a decline from 28 points scored in 2017 (with zero perceived to be highly corrupt, and 100 very clean).

Kenya is ranked at position 144 out of 180 countries and territories listed in the CPI ans the score is below the global average of 43 and Sub Saharan Africa’s mean of 32.

In the past five years, Kenya’s score has ranged between 25 and 28, having scored 28 in 2017, 26 in 2016, and 25 in 2015 and 2014, demonstrating that efforts to tackle corruption have borne little results.

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The CPI measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in countries and territories worldwide.

The report ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. It is a composite index, a combination of surveys and assessments of corruption which is collected by a variety of reputable institutions.

The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and business people, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on this year’s CPI, with an average score of just 43. It reveals that the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis in democracy around the world.

While there are exceptions, the data shows that despite some progress, most countries are failing to make serious inroads against corruption.

The top countries are Denmark and New Zealand with scores of 88 and 87, respectively. The bottom countries are Somalia, Syria and South Sudan with scores of 10, 13 and 13, respectively.

While no country earns a perfect score on the CPI, countries that tend to do best also protect democratic rights and values.

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“Corruption chips away at democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption.” Says Patricia Moreira, Managing Director Transparency International.

In the last seven years, only 20 countries significantly improved their CPI scores, including Estonia, Senegal, Guyana and Côte D’Ivoire.

Equally troubling, 16 countries significantly decreased their scores, including Australia, Chile, Malta, Hungary and Turkey.

This year, further research analysis shows a disturbing link between corruption and the health of democracies, where countries with higher rates of corruption also have weaker democratic institutions and political rights.

There are no democracies that score below 50 on the CPI. Similarly, very few countries which have autocratic characteristics score higher than 50.

Exemplifying this trend, the CPI scores for Hungary and Turkey decreased by eight and nine points respectively over the last six years. At the same time, Turkey was downgraded from “partly free” to “not free” by Freedom House, while Hungary registered its lowest score for political rights since the fall of communism in 1989.

These ratings reflect the deterioration of rule of law and democratic institutions, as well as a rapidly shrinking space for civil society and independent media, in those countries.

“Our research makes a clear link between having a healthy democracy and successfully fighting public sector corruption. Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage.” Delia Ferreira Rubio, chair of Transparency International.

Throughout the world, political leaders who run on a populist platform are gaining power and undermining democracy. High corruption rates can contribute to increased support for populist candidates.



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