Thursday, December 06, 2012

Zambia improves score on CPI

Zambia improves score on CPI
By Moses Kuwema
Thu 06 Dec. 2012, 12:10 CAT

ZAMBIA has improved its score on Transparency International Corru-ption Perception Index (CPI) to 3.7 from last year's 3.2. During the official launch of TI Corruption Perception Index 2012 at TIZ offices yesterday, immediate-past chapter president Reuben Lifuka said the 2012 CPI had been calculated using an updated methodology presented on a scale of zero to 100.

Lifuka said previously, the score used to be from zero to 10 but that with the updated method, it was much easier to trace it back to the raw scores given in the data sources.

Zero means highly corrupt and 100 means very clean. The past score has been from a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 10 (highly clean).
"A change in score from 2011 does not however reflect a change in perceptions of corruption between the CPI 2011 and CPI 2012. In the 2011 CPI, Zambia scored 3.2. This indicated that Zambia had gained 0.2 points of the 2010 CPI when the country scored 3.0. In the 2012 CPI, Zambia has scored 37 out of a possible 100," Lifuka said.

He said with this score, Zambia was in the 88th category with other countries being Malawi, Morocco, Suriname, Swaziland and Thailand.
He said the results of the CPI for Zambia should trigger constructive debate and engagement to unify all the various efforts and interventions to make the country corruption- free.

He said TIZ expected that the CPI would mark as a reference point in the fight against corruption by all stakeholders especially President Michael Sata and his administration.
Lifuka said it was imperative not to reduce the fight against corruption into mere political rhetoric.

"We should not reduce the fight against corruption to simple commemoration of events such as this one, but government and all interested stakeholders, should use the CPI results to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the fight against corruption in this country," he said.

Lifuka said while the country was making some progress on the CPI, it was hardly gratifying that the country had a score of less than 50.
He said there was urgent need for the government to enact the freedom or access to information law to significantly reduce the levels of corruption in the country.

"From the results of the 2012 CPI, one learning point for the low performers from the high performers is that the high performers have robust access to information systems. It seems there is a direct correlation between access to information and the levels of corruption or indeed perceived corruption. Where citizens cannot freely have access to information and how decisions that affect them are made, there is a high likelihood of corruption thriving and thus, the perceived levels of corruption will be high," he said.

And Lifuka said two thirds of the 176 countries ranked in the 2012 index scored below 50, on a scale from zero (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean), showing that public institutions needed to be more transparent, and powerful officials more accountable.

He said underperformers in the 2012 CPI include the Eurozone countries mostly affected by the financial and economic crisis.
Lifuka said Denmark, Finland and New Zealand tie for first place with scores of 90 as a result of strong access to information systems and rules governing the behaviour of those in public positions.

He said Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia were at the bottom of the index.
In Africa, Lifuka said 11 countries had performed much better than Zambia in the 2012 CPI and these include Botswana (65), Mauritius (57), Rwanda (53) Seychelles (52), Namibia (48), Lesotho (45), and Ghana (45). Others include South Africa (43), Liberia (41), Tunisia (41), and Burkina Faso (38).
He said last year, 10 countries performed better than Zambia in Africa.
Lifuka said Zambia on the other hand had performed better than other 35 African countries.

He named the countries with very low scores on the African continent as Angola (22), Democratic Republic of Congo and Libya (21), Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe (20) Burundi and Chad (19), Sudan (13) and Somalia (8).

The data on Zambia is from the following sources: African Development Bank Country Performance Ratings, Bertelsmann Transformation Index by the Bertelsmann Foundation, Country Risk Service and Country Forecast, Global Insight Country Risk Ratings, Political Risk Services International Country Risk Guide and World Bank - Country Performance and Institutional Assessment, World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey (EOS) 2010.

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