Business News of 2014-03-13

Ghana struggles in fight against corruption

Despite its commendable performance in the area of rule of law, Ghana continues to struggle in the fight against corruption, according to the World Justice Project (WJP).

This was contained in WJP Rule of Law Index for 2014 released yesterday in New York, U.S.

According to the report, “Administrative efficiency and corruption remain important challenges, although the country outperforms most of its regional peers in both dimensions.”

Ranking

On the rule of law scorecard, the report said Ghana placed 37th out of 99 countries and placed second after Botswana in the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

Denmark (Western Europe and North America), Uruguay (Latin America and the Caribbean), New Zealand (East Asia and Pacific), Georgia (Eastern Europe and Central Asia), Sri Lanka (South Asia) and the United Arab Emirates (Middle East and North Africa) led in their respective regions.

“Despite a slight decline since last year, Ghana continues to enjoy an effective protection of fundamental rights (ranking 33rd overall and first in the region), a functioning system of checks and balances (ranking 27th overall and second in the region) and an open government (ranking 37th and third in the region),” it said.

According to the report, “The civil justice system is relatively independent, but slow and inaccessible to most people.

“Finally, although improving since last year, the safety situation (ranking 57th), particularly with regards to security from crime and vigilante justice, is an area that still requires attention.

“Effective rule of law helps reduce corruption, alleviate poverty, improve public health and education, and protect people from injustices and dangers large and small,” the report quoted William H. Neukom, WJP Founder and CEO as saying.

“Wherever we come from, the rule of law can always be strengthened,” he added.

African Context

The report said that overall, the region (Africa) did not experience a noticeable increase or decline during the past year in the level of adherence to the rule of law, adding that “individually, Cameroon improved the most, while Madagascar saw the biggest deterioration. There was no significant improvement in reducing the levels of corruption throughout the entire region.

It said “African countries’ best performances are in the areas of constraints on the government power and delivery of civil justice. In these two areas, the region’s average rank is similar to most other regions in the world.”

“Sub-Saharan Africa faces multiple rule of law challenges. Crime and vigilante justice are widespread, corruption is prevalent in all branches of government and in the police and the military, and the legal system is not accessible to the ordinary citizen.

It added that “deficient protection of the rights to life and security of the person, and due process of law, are also areas of concern in this region.”

Background

The Index relied on over 100,000 household and expert surveys to measure how the rule of law is experienced in everyday life around the world. Performance is assessed through 44 indicators organized around eight themes: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice. More than 500 variables are computed to produce these indicators for every country.

About WJP

The World Justice Project is an independent, multidisciplinary organization that intends to advance the rule of law around the globe.

“Establishing the rule of law is fundamental to achieving communities of opportunity and equity—communities that offer sustainable economic development, accountable government and respect for fundamental rights.”

The release said WJP engages citizens and leaders worldwide to advance the rule of law.

“Through our mutually reinforcing programmes of Research and Scholarship, the WJP Rule of Law Index and Engagement, WJP seeks to stimulate government reforms, develop practical programmes at the community level and increase public awareness about the foundational importance of the rule of law.”