Mogadishu (Allbanaadir Media) – Somalia has been ranked as the most corrupt country in the world by Transparency International, a Berlin-based corruption watchdog.
The country received only 12 out of a possible 100 points in the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index, which surveyed 180 countries.
The never-ending conflict in Somalia is a leading cause of corruption, along with terrorism, suppression of media freedom, political, social, and economic instability, and suppressed freedom of speech.
Corruption and conflict: A vicious cycle
Conflict and corruption are intertwined in Somalia, with one feeding into the other. Corruption undermines the government’s ability to protect the people and erodes public trust, leading to more security threats that are harder to control.
On the other hand, conflict creates opportunities for corruption and subverts the government’s efforts to stop it. The continued conflict in Somalia has created a favorable environment for corruption to thrive.
The root causes of corruption in Somalia
Somalia has been experiencing extreme levels of poverty. It is battling its worst drought in 40 years. However, the corruption in the country has made it unattractive to relief food agencies.
The resultant dysfunctional institutions are primarily to blame for the continuing corruption, as they enable misrule. A lack of any form of regulatory mechanisms to address the situation means corruption continues to remain rampant in Somalia.
Corruption affects virtually every aspect of the country, from the judicial system to public services, administration, police, tax and customs administration, legislation, natural resources, public procurement, and civil society.
Fighting corruption in Somalia
Daniel Eriksson, CEO of Transparency International, believes leaders can fight corruption and simultaneously promote peace. Governments must open up space to include the public in decision-making, including activists, business owners, marginalized communities, and young people.
Despite some improvements in the 2021 ranking, Somalia is once again ranked as the most corrupt country in the world in the recently released Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International.
The dissolution of anti-corruption bodies
Transparency International raised concerns about President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s decision to dissolve anti-corruption bodies in October 2022, noting that this indicates that he’s not ready to tackle corruption in the country.
The dissolution of the Judicial Service Commission, which is responsible for the administration of justice in the country, means that corruption cases can only be effectively prosecuted if President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud reconstitutes the two critical organs that handle corruption cases.
Foreign aid and corruption in Somalia
Somalia primarily relies on foreign aid to run its $967 million budget and aims to collect $230 million this year. However, questions have been raised about the commitment to fight corruption, as financial assistance from international partners is only sometimes accounted for.
Seychelles continues to lead Africa with a CPI score of 70, followed by Botswana and Cabo Verde. Despite some improvements, the rest of the African countries have stagnated or deteriorated in their ratings, with Africa struggling to root out corruption.
Somalia’s corruption crisis is a deep-rooted problem that affects virtually every aspect of the country. Conflict and corruption are intertwined, with one feeding into the other.
The dissolution of anti-corruption bodies and the continued reliance on foreign aid raise questions about the commitment to fight corruption in the country. Somalia must address its corruption problem to boost investor confidence and attract relief food agencies.