In a report published by Transparency International (TI), Africa dominates the list of the most corrupt countries in the world with six in the top 10. On the other hand, Europe, and especially the Scandinavian countries, dominate the top 10 list of the least corrupt countries in the world. To illustrate, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden take the first three slots in that order while Norway comes in at No. 5 behind New Zealand, which apparently dropped from the second slot it held for the year 2014.
The United Kingdom is ranked at No. 10 alongside Germany and Luxembourg with a score of 81 points while the United States comes in at No. 16 alongside Austria with a confidence score of 76 points. This is United States’ third successive improvement on the scorecard having posted a score of 73 in 2013 and 74 in 2014.
On the other hand, Somalia and North Korea are tied at the top of the most corrupt countries in the world with confidence scores of eight each, which remained unchanged for the fourth year in a row. Now, just to illustrate the gap between the most corrupt and the least corrupt countries in the world, Denmark has a confidence score of 91, which is one point less from 2014’s score of 92. The nordic nation has maintained confidence scores of at least 90 over the last four years.
Corruption is one of the greatest evils, if not crime, in the world. It is a virus that preys on the weak who have no voice or status in society. Corruption has often been associated with power, or absolute power for the fans of John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, who said, “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
However, when you look at some of the perennial names in the list of the most corrupt countries in the world, they are not necessarily the most powerful. Their politicians and other government officials aren’t the most powerful in the world either.
For instance, if it was entirely about power, then the United States would be among the most corrupt countries in the world. Perhaps even in the bottom 10 because it is the most powerful nation in the world. Or did Transparency International show leniency to world powers? It’s doubtful.
So, the famous quote by John Steinbeck saying “Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power,” may provide some light with regard to what really causes corruption. When U.S. President Barrack Obama visited Kenya in July 2015, he said that he was confident that if he ran for the presidency for a third term he would win, but he couldn’t do that because the rules are the rules and they must be followed.
One thing about African leaders is that they will do anything to cling to power. This aspect of doing anything breeds corruption in governments and by extension to the private sector and then the general public. Once leaders have tasted power, they never want to lose it. It is the fear of what might happen to them if they went back to their civilian selves after retirement.
As such, they result to plotting schemes that will help them to remain in power including inking deals behind doors that are never intended for the common good. This is why most African nations are featured amongst the most corrupt countries in the world and not the least corrupt. In Africa, there are presidents who have been in power for more than 30 years. During that same time, the United states have had more than four Presidents.
Top 10 least corrupt countries in the world and their confidence scores
4. New Zealand-88
10. United Kingdom-81
Top 10 most corrupt countries in the world and their confidence scores
163. South Sudan-15
167. Korea (North)-8
The rest of the report on most corrupt countries in the world can be accessed via the Transparency International’s website.
The bottom line is that when looking at that confidence list of the world corruption index, the Scandinavian countries scored aces while the U.S. struck a B+. But what did the top ten most corrupt nations really get? That’s probably a Fail. Is this why some of them are unpopularly referred to as failed nations? Maybe being among the most corrupt countries in the world is good enough to earn them that tag.
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