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News release

In Sierra Leone, perceived corruption in the president’s office has declined, but so has trust

26 Apr 2023 Sierra Leone
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News release
Key findings
  • A slim majority (53%) of Sierra Leoneans say they trust the president “somewhat” or “a lot” (Figure 1), a 17-percentage-point drop from 2012 (70%) (Figure 2).
  • Trust in the president varies widely by region. Most residents in the South (87%) and East (78%) – regions dominated by the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party – say they trust the president “somewhat” or “a lot,” while fewer than half as many say the same in the opposition-dominated North (36%), North-West (32%), and West (28%).
  • Only three in 10 citizens (31%) say "most" or "all" officials in the Presidency are corrupt, the best rating among elected and state officials that the survey asked about. Among key institutions and leaders, the police are most widely seen as corrupt: 71% of citizens say “most” or “all” police are involved in corruption. The police are followed by members of Parliament (49%), tax officials (45%), and business executives (45%) (Figure 3).
  • Perceptions of widespread corruption have declined for seven of 10 institutions and leaders for which data over parts or all the past decade are available, including the president’s office (Table 1).

In Sierra Leone, perceptions of corruption in the Presidency have decreased over the past decade, but so has popular trust, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.

The president’s office is one of seven key institutions and leadership groups in which widespread corruption, as measured by citizens’ perceptions, has declined. These include judges/magistrates and local government councillors, which have seen double-digit improvements since 2012. The office of the president follows closely behind, with a 9- percentage-point decline in perceived widespread corruption.

However, trust in the office of the president has declined as well since 2012, with regional disparities in how the presidency is viewed.