By Sarah Carr
First Published: September 23, 2008
CAIRO: Egypt has been placed at 115 in an annual list of perceived corruption in 180 countries, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index, published by independent organisation Transparency International.
While Egypt was ranked 105 in last year’s CPI, Transparency International emphasize that a country’s score is much more important than its ranking, since ranking can change because of the addition or exclusion of new countries in the CPI.
Egypt scored 2.8 in this year’s CPI, a point lower than its 2007 score. Scores below 5 indicate a serious corruption problem. Top country, Denmark, received a 9.3 score, while Somalia, ranked 180, got 1.0 score.
Founded in 1993, Transparency International is a global network of country chapters bringing together government, civil society and business stakeholders to challenge corruption.
The CPI ranks countries “in terms of the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians.”
The data used in the CPI is collected using 13 sources from 11 independent institutions including banks, business leaders and think tanks.
All sources measure the overall extent of corruption (frequency and/or size of bribes) in the public and political sectors and all sources provide a ranking of countries.
Regionally, Egypt ranked 13 of 18 in the Middle East and North Africa region, above Libya, Iran, Yemen Syria and Iraq.
Qatar heads the MENA region with a score of 6.5. At the bottom of the list is Iraq, whose CPI score is 1.3.
“The 2008 CPI results illustrate that although corruption and lack of transparency still constitute a fundamental challenge for the region’s development, increased debate on the issue of corruption is driving slow but steady steps towards structural reform,” Transparency International said in a commentary on the MENA region.
“From Morocco, through to Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait and Yemen the issue of combating public sector corruption has gained momentum and legitimacy and is now being addressed openly as a principal obstacle to development.”
Economist Nabil Abdel Fattah from the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies suggests otherwise.
“Anti-corruption measures taken by the state apparatus and national institutions have proved ineffective, with the result that corruption has become a system of law in Egypt organising relations between citizens and public officials, and between workers and employers in the private sector,” Abdel Fattah told Daily News Egypt