CAIRO: Perceptions of corruption in Egypt remain unchanged in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) with a score of 2.8 out of 10 – the same ranking as last year.
The CPI, released on Tuesday, ranks countries “in terms of the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians and is compiled using independent sources who measure the overall extent of corruption.
“Perception of corruption remains a serious problem in the Middle East and North Africa region with only six out of 19 countries scoring above 5 out of 10, TI says in a summary accompanying the CPI.
While the World Bank this week placed Egypt among the top 10 reforming countries in its “ease of doing business index, business regulatory reform does not seem to have affected the perception that corruption in Egypt is widespread.
“Countries such as Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon are still perceived as highly corrupt despite the fact that corruption is openly addressed as a principal obstacle to development and the issue of enhancing integrity and accountability to the public and private sectors is now being addressed, the group continues.
Qatar comes top regionally with a CPI score of 7.0 while Iraq is at the bottom with a dismal score of 1.5.
Internationally, the vast majority of the 180 countries included in the CPI score below 5, TI says in a statement. Highest scorers are New Zealand at 9.4 and Denmark at 9.3.
Egypt was part of a group of countries which last week blocked the enactment of a strong mechanism to monitor states’ implementation of their obligations under the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Egypt and the other states rejected a proposal for in-country mandatory fact-finding visits from UN officials.
The Conference of States in Doha instead concluded with agreement on a mechanism NGOs described as “toothless.
“Overall results in the 2009 index are of great concern because corruption continues to lurk where opacity rules, where institutions still need strengthening and where governments have not implemented anti-corruption legal frameworks, TI says in its statement, adding that enforced legal frameworks and smarter regulation will lead to “a much needed increase of trust in public institutions, sustained economic growth and more effective development assistance.
“Most importantly, it will alleviate the enormous scale of human suffering in the countries that perform most poorly in the Corruption Perceptions Index.