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Fighting Corruption in Comoros, Cameroon and Madagascar

CPI Index 2013 for ssAfrica via Transparency International CC-License-BY

Corruption Perceptions Index 2013 for Sub-Saharan Africa via Transparency International CC-License-BY

The people of Comoros, Cameroon and Madagascar haven't got much faith in the honesty and integrity of the public sector, according to Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).

The report measures perceived levels of public sector corruption and “serves as a reminder that the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world,” as stated on their website. On a scale going from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), more than two-thirds of the indexed countries scored less than 50.

Comoros and Madagascar tied for 127th of 177 countries, with scores of 28. Cameroon fared worse, coming in at 144th with a score of 25.  

Let's take a closer look at the state of affairs in these three French-speaking African countries. 


State of corruption

March against Corruption in Moroni in November 2013 via Comores actualités - Public Domain

March Against Corruption in Moroni in November 2013 via Comores actualités – Public Domain

Toyb Ahmed in Moroni for AlWatan Info summarized the state of corruption in Comoros [fr]:

Les Comores sont placées au 127ème rang sur 177 pays évalués, avec la note de vingt-huit points sur cent. L’archipel grignote encore six places en comparaison au classement de 2012. l’installation de la Commission nationale de prévention et lutte contre la corruption (Cnplc) par le président Ikililou Dhoinine avait posé la première pierre. Dans la foulée, le chef de l’Etat avait concrétisé sa volonté de transparence dans la chose publique par la signature du décret d’application instituant l’Autorité de régulation des marchés publics (Armp). La Justice comorienne est régulièrement pointée du doigt, accusée de laxisme dans la répression des actes de corruption.

Comoros is ranked 127th out of 177 countries with a score of 28 points. The archipelago gained six places compared to the 2012 ranking. The installation of the National Commission for the Prevention and Fight Against Corruption (Cnplc) by President Ikililou Dhoinine has laid the foundation for the fight against corruption. The head of state has proven his commitment to transparency in public affairs by signing the application decree establishing the Regulatory Authority for Public Procurement (ARMP). The justice system of Comoros is regularly singled out, accused of laxity in cracking down on acts of corruption.


Al-hamdi Abdillah Hamdi, a citizen reporter based in Moroni, proposed the following measures to decrease corruption levels in Comoros:

On peut noter la mise en place de la Commission anti corruption et l'organe de contrôle des passations des marchés publics.
L'avocat franco-comorien Me Ben Ali Ahmed avait récemment dressé un constat d'échec dans la lutte contre la corruption en indiquant que les mauvais comportements n'ont pas changé d'un iota. En plus des pratiques peu musulmanes dans les administrations publiques et leurs incapacités à rendre des comptes aux citoyens, les forces vives de la nation regrettent régulièrement l'impunité dont bénéficient certaines autorités.

The establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Supervisory Body for the Approval of Government Procurement should be noted (as measures against corruption). The Franco-Comorian lawyer Mr. Ben Ali Ahmed recently indicated some failures in the fight against corruption by saying that the previous corrupt actions (in the government) has not changed one iota. Additionally, some practices in public administrations are unworthy of our Islamic faith and many public servants have shown no accountability towards the citizens they serve. As such, we citizens, the lifeblood of the nation, are often disappointed with the impunity granted to certain authorities in power. 


State of corruption

The high level of corruption in Cameroon remains a great source of concern. Despite international pressure and many plans and laws against corruption dreamed up throughout the past decade, the practice remains a constant in the daily lives of Cameroonians.

Reportedly, over 50 percent of Cameroonian households have paid at least one bribe [fr]. According to Samuel Ekoum, president of the Cameroonian NGO SOS Corruption, the state of Cameroon loses on average 400 billion CFA francs (about 832 million US dollars) per year because of corruption.


Various organizations are implementing several programs to monitor the distribution of aid in Cameroon; one such project is highlighted in the following video, in which an NGO monitors the proper use of aid funds in estate development projects:

Ben Christy Moudio in Douala provided an analysis of why the fight against corruption has often failed in his country [fr]:

Dynamique Citoyenne, réseau de suivi indépendant des politiques publiques et des stratégies de coopération, réclame à nouveau que les hautes personnalités dont le président de la république Paul Biya concernées par cet article, se plient aux injonctions de la loi en déclarant leurs biens. Le non respect de ces dispositions légales étant entre autres un facteur qui favorise les détournements des derniers publics et la corruption au Cameroun. Justement, le classement 2013 de l’indice de perception de la corruption  a repositionné comme en 2012, le Cameroun à la 144e place. l’incapacité du Cameroun à s’insérer dans une logique démocratique et à réellement mettre en œuvre les mécanismes de lutte contre la corruption justifient l’attribution dans cet indice de la note de 25/100.

Dynamique Citoyenne, a network of independent entities monitoring public policies, claims that dignitaries including President of the Republic Paul Biya comply to the order of the law by declaring their assets. Non-compliance with these provisions are a few of the factors that promote the embezzlement of public funds and corruption in Cameroon. The 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index released on December 3 ranks Cameroon in 144th place. Cameroon's inability to conform to a democratic process and effectively implement mechanisms to fight corruption fully justify the attribution of the low score of 25/100 on the index.


State of corruption

In the 2013 CPI,  Transparency International released the following on the rising level of corruption in Madagascar [fr]:

Parmi les secteurs les plus corrompus à Madagascar, l’on peut citer la gendarmerie nationale, les collectivités territoriales décentralisées, la justice, le service foncier et l’éducation. 58% des enquêtées estiment que le niveau de la corruption a augmenté durant les deux dernières années et le secteur juridique est vu comme étant l’organisme public le plus corrompu. 32% de la population enquêtée ont affirmé avoir payé un pot-de-vin, soit pour accélérer le processus auprès d’un service public quelconque, soit parce que c’est l’unique moyen pour un aboutissement, tandis que 54% ont déclaré que les actions du gouvernement pour combattre la corruption sont inefficaces.

Among the most corrupt sectors in Madagascar, we can cite the armed forces, the regional and local authorities, justice, land service and education. 58 percent of respondents believe that the level of corruption has increased over the past two years and the legal sector is seen as the most corrupt government agency. 32 percent of the surveyed population reported having paid a bribe to speed up the process of a public service because it was the only way to do so, while 54 percent reported that government actions to combat corruption are ineffective.


The justice system plays a crucial role in ensuring that corruption is kept at a minimum. Preserving its independence is key to making sure that any anti-corruption measure is sustainable. According to Transparency International Global Corruption Report, a few principles to ensure the credibility of the system can be applied (PDF): 

  • Judges must declare their revenues to an independent agency
  • the members of the supreme court ought to be elected by their peirs
  • the rules of assignment of the judges need to be made public
  • All payments to the court must produce a receipt
  • A procedure of quick appeal against corrupt officials must be put in place


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