KABUL – The Transparency International released its Corruption Perception Index 2018 today and put Afghanistan among the top 10 corrupt countries in the world. The index shows that anti-corruption efforts have stalled in the country in compare to 2017. Afghanistan scored 16 out 100 in 2018 compared to 15 out 100 in 2017 and 11 in 2015.
“In the backdrop of ongoing peace negotiations with the opposition armed group, a democratic state that were clean and strong could have major leverage in a possible peace settlement and could have ensured human rights, freedom of speech, and democratic participation.” Said, Joy Saunders, Chairperson of Board of Directors for Transparency Afghanistan.
The National Unity Government (NUG) was voted for its campaign commitments to take on corruption at all levels and break the institutional capture of the state. The challenges to fight corruption were overwhelming and four years down the line, it seems the government led by President Ghani has not been able to fulfill its promises to its people.
Ms. Nadia Bazidwal, Board of Member of Transparency Afghanistan, said, “The result has been diminishing government legitimacy and trust among Afghans and donor fatigue.”
The reason Afghanistan has seen slight improvement between 2015 and till launch of 2018 index is the procurement reform and adopting a few important legislations including access to information and whistle blower protection laws as well as civil service and justice sector reform to a lesser extent.
The CPI 2018 shows that dozens of Asia and African countries have improved significantly between 2017 and 2018. Oman with 8 score, Gambia with 7 are among top performers followed by Tajikistan with Egypt by 3 score each.
The reason Afghanistan failed to be a top performer were internal disagreements within the political leadership over power sharing issues, weak institutional arrangements and lack of support to independent anti-corruption agencies by political leadership, and most importantly a diminishing political will over the years since 2015.
– Transparency Afghanistan calls on all stakeholders in the Afghan peace negotiations to consider corruption a major issue to development and prosperity in Afghanistan and avoid a settlement and power-sharing model that flourishes corruption as was done by Bon Agreement in 2001.
– The nominations for presidential election that is due in July 2019 were just completed and we call on all presidential candidates to come up with strong and clear anti-corruption commitments.
– The work of civil society fraternity has shown that a democratic state can prevent corruption by making transparency and public participation compulsory in the administration and can fight corruption through independent oversight and prosecutorial agencies.