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Corruption widespread in Middle East, Africa: Report


A new report is shining a light on corruption in the Middle East and North Africa, after nearly 1 in 3 citizens reported paying a bribe to access a basis public service.

According to Transparency International, 61% of people surveyed in the region believe the level of corruption has gone up over the past 12 months throughout the region.

“It’s as if the Arab Spring never happened. Leaders who fail to stop secrecy, fail to promote free speech and fail to stop bribery also fail to bring dignity to the daily lives of people living in the Middle East and North Africa. Peoples’ human rights are seriously affected,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.

In 2011, democratic uprisings spread across the Arab world. The movement, referred to as the Arab Spring, originated in Tunisia and quickly took hold in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.

The report suggests, governments have done little to enforce laws against corruption and bribery. In addition, they have not done enough for transparency and accountability through the “promotions of freedoms of the press, civic society and for individuals.”

Based on the findings, Transparency International offered four recommendations:

  • Governments in the region must speak out immediately and publicly about their commitment to end corruption.
  • Governments must eradicate impunity and bring the corrupt to justice so they can take responsibility for the consequences of their acts. 
  • Governments must create a safe and enabling environment for civil society and the media to fight and report corruption.
  • Governments must involve their citizens in the fight against corruption and create the space to hold institutions to account and to help law enforcement institutions.

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Michael Sutherland-Shaw

Michael Sutherland-Shaw

Marketing Communications Specialist at FreeBalance
Michael works in the marketing and communications department following a career in journalism. Michael is currently learning Ruby on Rails and loves discovering new music.

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