26 Jan 2017 10:00am
By Maggy Thomas
WINDHOEK, 26 JAN (NAMPA) - Namibia remains among the least corrupt countries in the world, Anti-Corruption Commission Director, Paulus Noa has said.
According to the 2016 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) by Transparency International released on Tuesday, Namibia is ranked 53rd out of 176 countries with a score of 52 points.
The country scored 53 points in 2015.
On the African continent, Namibia is the fifth-least corrupt, while it is ranked third least corrupt in the Southern African Development Community Region.
The CPI focuses on corruption and inequality in the assessed countries.
The index ranges from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
It is a fact that while corruption is not endemic in Namibia, there is an unacceptable level of inequality in the country, Noa told Nampa on Wednesday.
This could be one of the reasons why Namibia went down by one score as compared to the 2015 perception index, he said.
With regard to the ranking, Noa said that should not be a big concern since it is attributed to the fact that more countries (176) were listed compared to 149 in 2015.
Namibias position in the rankings dropped from 45th position in 2015 to 53rd position in 2016.
Many countries 2015 rankings changed as a result of the number of countries assessed in 2016, explained Noa.
The score of many countries also decreased, probably not because of the increasing level of corruption in those countries, but because of the social and economic inequality, he stated.
By way of illustration, he said Denmark retained position number one in the ranking but their score (points) went down by one point from 91 in 2015 to 90 in 2016.
The ranking of Botswana, who retains its position as number one in Sub-Saharan Africa, went down from 28 in 2015 to 35 in 2016. Botswanas score also went down with three points from 63 in 2015 to 60 points in 2016.
Noa said while Namibia has recorded many achievements in the area of governance since independence, much more needs to be done to ensure that poverty and economic inequality are effectively addressed.
Corruption is regarded as a governance issue, he said, emphasising that public institutions, particularly, must be administered in the manner that is more open, transparent, accountable and responsive to the needs of the society.
Improved performance and service delivery will strengthen our democratic governance system and ultimately increase Namibia's ranking in the world, he said.