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BP153: Going in the wrong direction? Ugandans report declining government effectiveness

In the Round 5 Afrobarometer survey in Uganda, 74% of Ugandans said the country was headed in the wrong direction. This was a dramatic change from just one year earlier, when 28% said Uganda was headed in the wrong direction. Analysis of these findings suggests that this perception is fuelled by several factors, including dissatisfaction with prevailing economic conditions and declining personal living conditions (see Afrobarometer Briefing Paper No. 101).


AD40: Zimbabwe seen headed in the wrong direction, but president's leadership approval steady

Most Zimbabweans express discontent with the overall direction of their country, deteriorating economic conditions, rising corruption, and the performance of their elected leaders – except for President Robert Mugabe.

According to the latest Afrobarometer survey, popular assessments of the country’s direction and of how members of Parliament (MPs) and local government councillors are doing their jobs are considerably more negative than in 2012, but a majority of Zimbabweans continue to approve of the president’s performance.


AD15: Basotho see increased corruption despite government efforts

Basotho perceive an increased level of corruption in the past year, with the highest levels of perceived corruption among the police and business executives, according to Afrobarometer’s most recent survey. Survey results show that citizens are divided in their assessment of the government’s handling of the fight against corruption.


Corruption in Ghana: Above the din of official protestation, citizens’ voices are being heard

Sometimes you complete a study, release the results, and then … listen to the resounding silence.

Other times your results hit a nerve – and the nerve tries to hit back, attacking everything from your findings to your methodology to the integrity of your intentions.

Then there are occasions – still too rare – when the initial emotional backlash is followed by a willingness to consider the possibility that the voices of everyday citizens might actually be worth hearing and acting on.


PP23: Support for the International Criminal Court in Africa: Evidence from Kenya

Some key findings from this Policy Paper:

  • The latest Afrobarometer survey finds that two-thirds (66%) of Kenyans believe that their national judiciary treats people unequally. Almost nine in 10 (86%) say that ordinary citizens who break the law “never” or “rarely” go unpunished, while only 20% say that this is the case for public officials.

Corruption perceptions in Ghana: Different approaches reach similar conclusions

Blog post by Daniel Armah-Attoh

Ghana’s place at the forefront of African democracy and good governance has been called into question by a recent series of corruption scandals. Quite dishearteningly, some public officials have been found defending alleged wrongdoers in media discussion programs, and some whistle-blowers suffered reprisals instead of being protected.


Apathy and mistrust: the disenfranchising effect of corruption on institutional trust

The findings at a glance:

  • Perceptions of corruption on increase since 2002
  • Government anti-corruption efforts seen to be inadequate
  • Majority of citizens think there is nothing ordinary people can do to fight corruption
  • Institutional trust is on the increase since 2002

Graph: Perceived increase in corruption| 2015


Eroded? Institutional trust suffers as perceived corruption increases in Uganda

Increasing public perceptions of institutional corruption in Uganda appear to be eroding public trust in state institutions, the latest Afrobarometer survey suggests.

Most Ugandans believe corruption increased during the past year, and public trust in Parliament, the courts, and local government decreased between 2012 and 2015. Striking exceptions are trust in the president and the police; public trust in these institutions increased.


Whose fight? Ugandans dispirited in anti-corruption efforts

Most Ugandans say corruption increased in the past year, and less than half of them think ordinary citizens can make a difference in the anti-corruption fight, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.

The proportion of Ugandans who mention corruption as a major problem for government to solve rose from 4% in 2002 to 19% in 2015, but government response continues to be seen as inadequate. A sizeable number report having paid bribes to obtain public services.


WP55: Free and fair or fraudulent and forged: Elections and legitimacy in Africa

Elections are thought to bolster legitimacy by providing fair mechanisms for selecting leaders. In Africa, where competitive elections are often unfamiliar and imperfect, losers express much less support for their political institutions than do winners. Analysis of Round 1 Afrobarometer survey data from more than 20,000 respondents in 12 countries demonstrates that losers are less inclined than winners to trust their political institutions, consent to government authority, and feel that voting matters.


WP63: Voters but not yet citizens: The weak demand for vertical acountability in Africa's unclaimed democracies

Transitions to competitive, multiparty politics in African countries during the 1990s were jubilantly welcomed, both on the continent and internationally. Today, Africans enjoy unprecedented opportunities to vote, and many still revel in greater individual and political freedoms. But the full potential of democracy – including the promise of accountable governance – has yet to be fulfilled. Why has democracy – or, at least, multiparty elections – so far failed to secure better governance and greater accountability?


WP71: A vicious circle of corruption and mistrust in institutions in sub-Saharan Africa: A micro-level analysis

This paper evaluates the extent to which expressive voting can explain Malawi’s regional census. Specifically, are Malawians who hold regional identities more likely to be regional partisans than Malawians who identify differently? The paper does not seek to wholly reject or accept the identity hypothesis, but rather to plumb the boundaries of its explanatory power: How far can it go in explaining the census? Are there regions of the country that it explains better than others?


WP79: Political transition, corruption, and income inequality in third wave democracies

The paper examines the effect of democratization on income inequality in third-wave democracies. Using data from the World Income Inequality Database, this paper will show that income inequality has risen sharply in almost every third-wave democracy. This paper attempts to explain why income inequality rises at much faster rates in developing nations vis-à-vis developed nations. The paper argue that the key to solving this puzzle lies in a better understanding of the patterns of democratization and the consequences of corruption in new democracies.


WP81: Corruption and institutional trust in Africa: Implications for democratic development

This paper addresses the corruption-trust nexus with survey data and statistical methods. Data are drawn from the Afrobarometer, a comparative series of national public attitude surveys on democracy, markets and civil society in selected African countries. This paper confirms that corruption is a major, perhaps the major, obstacle to building popular trust in state institutions and electoral processes in Africa.


WP86: Corruption, institutional discredit, and exclusion of the poor: A poverty trap

The vast majority of empirical studies focus mainly on the indirect effects of corruption on poverty using cross-section analyses of macroeconomic aggregates (growth, investment, public expenditure, etc.). To date, relatively few studies have set out to explain the logic of individual behaviour in the face of corruption and the direct effects of this scourge on the poor.


WP97: Looking behind the window: Measuring instrumental and normative reasoning in support for democracy

This paper explores the types of rationality that underlie popular choices of political regime in societies that recently completed a transition towards democracy. We discuss the nature of the rational bases used for preference formation by focusing on urban Brazilians. Our attention is centered on the balance between survey respondents’ evaluation of democratic performance and their views of the efficacy of democracy to solve their country’s problems. We also examine the joint impact of these attitudes on molding citizens’ preferences for a particular type of government in Brazil.


WP99: Vote buying and violence in Nigerian election campaigns

Vote buying and political intimidation are important, if epiphenomenal, dimensions of Nigerian election campaigns. According to survey-based estimates, fewer than one out of five Nigerians is personally exposed to vote buying and fewer than one in ten experiences threats of electoral violence. But when, as commonly happens, campaign irregularities are targeted at the rural poor, effects are concentrated. These effects are as follows: violence reduces turnout; and vote buying enhances partisan loyalty.


WP114: Vote-buying and political behavior: Estimating and explaining vote-buying's effect on turnout in Kenya

Vote-buying has and continues to be pervasive in many electoral regimes. Yet the relationship between vote-buying and citizen behavior, particularly in the context of the secret ballot, remains largely unknown. In this paper I study vote-buying’s effect on voter turnout in Kenya, using a nationally representative survey that includes questions about the country's 2002 presidential and parliamentary elections.


WP139: Exploiting the poor: Bureaucratic corruption and poverty in Africa

Corruption is a major source of slow development in Africa – the poorest region of the world. While extant research has focused on the causes and consequences of corruption at the macro-level, less effort has been devoted to understanding the micro-foundation of corruption, as well as the mechanisms through which poverty may be related to corruption and bribery. In this paper, we develop a simple model of the relationship between poverty and corruption. The model suggests that poor people are more likely to be victims of corrupt behavior by street-level government bureaucrats.


L’inefficacité des gouvernements dans la lutte contre la corruption

Une majorité des habitants des 34 pays africains condamnent les efforts de leurs gouvernements en matière de lutte contre la corruption, selon les enquêtes réalisées par Afrobaromètre auprès de 51 000 citoyens entre octobre 2011 et juin 2013.

Une des conclusions de cette étude présentée à Dakar, le 13 Novembre 2013, est que les citoyens des pays africains considèrent que leurs gouvernements ont failli dans leur lutte pour endiguer la corruption.


Les publics africains soutiennent les droits et les responsabilités d’une presse libre

La majorité des Africains soutiennent des média indépendantes qui enquêtent et publient sur les performances gouvernementales et la corruption, selon une nouvelle analyse des données d’Afrobaromètre.

Les sondages concernés, qui représentent plus que trois-quarts de la population du continent, montrent que 57% des Africains demandent une presse libre, même si certains pays et certaines régions tolèrent plus d’ingérence gouvernementale que d’autres. Les citoyens moins instruits sont moins enclins de soutenir des média indépendantes.


PP3: L’alliance entre la liberté d’expression et la bonne gouvernance en Afrique

La liberté d’expression n’est pas seulement précieuse en tant qu’aboutissement démocratique. Elle est fortement corrélée à la perception populaire de l’efficacité des médias et de la qualité de gouvernance, selon les nouvelles données de l’Afrobaromètre, recueillies lors d’entretiens réalisés en face à face avec 51 605 personnes dans 34 pays au cours de la période 2011–2013.


PP10: Perceptions populaires des cause et conséquences du conflit au Mali

Dans l'enquête Afrobaromètre de décembre 2012, les maliens mettaient en avant comme étant les premières causes, de la grave crise sociopolitique que traversait leur pays, le manque de patriotisme des dirigeants et la faiblesse de l'Etat. En ce temps, la plupart des maliens avaient perdu confiance en la classe politique et en les politiciens. Une année plus tard, cependant, une enquête Afrobaromètre de suivi (décembre 2013) révèle que les terroristes étrangers et la corruption sont plutôt les deux premières causes du conflit et de l'occupation du Nord.