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Majority in Africa fear retaliation if they speak up about corruption – Afrobarometer

Only one in four Africans (26%) say people can report corruption to the authorities without fear of retaliation.

A majority of Africans say that corruption in their country is rising, that their government is failing in efforts to fight it, and that ordinary citizens risk retaliation if they report corruption to the authorities, Afrobarometer’s latest Pan-Africa Profile reveals.

The survey however established that only one in four people in Africa (26%) can report corruption to the authorities without fear of retaliation.

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“Two in three Africans (67%) say their government is doing a poor job of fighting corruption.

Findings show that among key public institutions, the police are most widely perceived as corrupt. In substantial numbers, citizens report having to pay bribes to obtain police assistance or avoid problems with the police, as well as to get government documents and services at health facilities and schools.

“Almost half (46%) of Africans say that “most” or “all” police officials are corrupt, the worst rating among 11 institutions and leaders the survey asked about. Tax officials, civil servants, and officials in the Presidency tie for second-worst, at 38%,” noted the research company in its report

The report adds that; “Among citizens who sought selected public services during the previous year, substantial proportions say they had to pay a bribe to obtain police assistance (36%), to avoid problems with the police (37%), to get a government document (31%), or to receive services at a public medical facility (20%) or a public school (19%),”

Afrobarometer noted that Citizens’ assessments vary widely across countries, with Gabon, South Africa, Nigeria, Liberia, and Uganda among the worst-performing countries when it comes to perceived corruption in key public institutions, while Seychelles, Cabo Verde, Tanzania, and Mauritius turn in the best performances.

“On average across 39 countries, a majority (58%) of Africans say corruption increased “somewhat” or “a lot” in their country during the preceding year,”

“Compared to 2014/2015, 12 countries recorded double-digit increases in perceptions of worsening corruption, including a surge of 39 percentage points in Senegal, while decreases reached a remarkable 61 points in Benin,” the agency said

Released ahead of International Anti-Corruption Day (9 December), the Afrobarometer report is based on nationally representative surveys in 39 African countries.

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