Monday, December 9, 2013

Perceived Corruption — A Threat to Develpment

I am not an economist — I took precisely one course in economics in university and that was an entry–level course that I took primarily to get the hours I needed for graduation. (Hindsight: I wish, now, I had taken the course more seriously.) But, it doesn't take an economics genius to see that when an investor (either national or expatriate) is considering whether or not to spend money and energy in developing a business in a particular place, a country that is perceived to be corrupt is not going to be high on that investor's list of places to go.

Transparency International has released its 2013 report on Corruption Perception Index. I think it's very important to note that this report doesn't attempt to measure actual corruption — merely the perception of corruption in the public sector (bribes, backroom deals). And, in this case, it may well be true that perception is reality. For more details, go to TI's site. For a quick look at a particular country, put your cursor over that country. Scores range from 8 to 91, with 8 being the countries (Somalia, North Korea, and Afghanistan) perceived as being the most corrupt. Rankings are 1-177, with those same 3 countries tied for worst with a ranking of 175.

Having lived in Kenya for most of the past 27 years and now looking forward to moving to Uganda, it is very sad to me that the corruption in both of those countries has such a huge negative impact on the citizens of those countries.

Run well, y'all,