The most corrupt countries in the world – Transparency International/yahoo news

August 31, 2014


Okay, guys, Nigeria – surprise – does not make an appearance on TI’s latest Ten Most Corrupt Countries List – yippee, yippee, yippee! Even though situation on ground does not seem to reflect this, OR, Somalia, Three “Stan” countries and the others of the Ignoble Ten must be hellish to live, operate or do business in.

Whichever way it happened, be it calculation error … Nigerians will take this good news for a change. Tola.

Corruption and economic turmoil often go hand-in-hand. In western nations like the United States, and in many European countries, we often see corruption come to light as the result of whistleblowers or journalistic efforts. But in many other areas of the world, corruption plays a major role in fostering staggering poverty and broken economic systems.

Oftentimes, specific power structures and government architectures provide an easier means for corrupt politicians, businessmen, or military officials to exploit the system. Many governments have their roots in constitutions from generations ago, and have outgrown their current systems. Many other countries are ruled by a variety of independent tribal leaders and often lack a centralized power structure with any meaningful sway.

Transparency International developed a comprehensive list of the world’s most corrupt nations last year, and the countries that top the list probably won’t come as much of a surprise to many. The study ranks countries on a scale from 0 to 100, with zero being the most corrupt, and 100 being the least.

Of course, corruption comes in a variety of forms, so getting an incredibly accurate gauge is difficult. But perception itself is a very strong tool, and can have a big effect on its own. If the study reveals anything, it’s that the world overall has a huge issue in terms of corrupt officials.

By looking at the Corruptions Perception Index, along with the existing power structures and economic systems within each country, the picture does become a bit clearer. That’s why we dug a little deeper, examining the rankings seen on the following pages.
For good measure, we’ve included the United States on the list to give perspective as to where America ranks internationally in terms of corruption and economic strife. By Transparency International’s calculations and scale, the U.S. is sitting fairly pretty, although it’s common knowledge that there are definitely issues with how things are run in Washington.

Other countries you might expect to see like Russia, Mexico, or Venezuela all have their places as well, and the full list of 177 nations can be viewed straight at the source from Transparency International.
Here are the most corrupt nations in the world, as ranked by Transparency International, with additional insight into the issues and factors plaguing each one.

Photo by Phil Moore/AFP/Getty Images

1. Somalia

Corruption score: 8
Power structure: Almost none; “in the process of building a federal parliamentary republic” – CIA

Somalia may just be the most unstable country on the entire planet. The country has become infamous in the United States as being the setting for the Blackhawk Down incident, as well as the country’s pirates who are known to take over passing ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. The country is barely held together by an incredibly loose central government, and is more accurately being run by a number of competing clans and warlords, creating lots of hostility and division.

The environment in Somalia has led to hard lives for many of the country’s citizens. On the economic front, many people make a living from raising livestock or farming, and others from fishing. Of course, with things remaining such a mess at the top of the power structure, any long-term planning for social programs and infrastructure is difficult.

According to The World Bank, only 29 percent of the country’s population has been enrolled in school, and life expectancy is a paltry 55 years. Both of these numbers rank well-below most other countries, and provide some insight into the internal strife the country is experiencing.

Beyond these things, information on the inner workings of Somalia’s government and its economic system are scarce. That alone is rather telling, as corrupt officials may not want outsiders seeing the true picture of what’s going on inside the country’s borders.

2. North Korea

Corruption score: 8
Power structure: Dictatorship

3. Afghanistan

Corruption score: 8
Power structure: Islamic Republic

4. Sudan

Corruption score: 11
Power structure: Federal Republic

5. South Sudan

Corruption score: 14
Power structure: Republic

6. Libya

Corruption score: 15
Power structure: Transitional

7. Iraq

Corruption score: 16
Power structure: Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Republic (ostensibly)

8. Uzbekistan

Corruption score: 17
Power structure: Republic

9. Turkmenistan

Corruption score: 17
Power structure: Presidential Democracy/Authoritarian

10. Syria

NO 10 syria

A particularly haunting display of the Syrian flag amidst a neighborhood ruins – TOLA

Photo: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Image

Corruption score: 17
Power structure: Authoritarian Republic

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Honorable Mention: The United States

Corruption score: 73
power structure: Democratic Republic

There has to be an honorable mention for the United States, which many people figure has to be the most corrupt nation on Earth. The fact is, the U.S. does have a great deal of corruption in many forms, like lobbying, bribery, gerrymandering, and bought elections. But according to the corruption index, the U.S. pales in comparison to countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

The economic system of the U.S. — although often portrayed as ‘free-market’ — is often anything but. A quick look at the telecom or energy industry shows that many monopolistic forces are at play, and big money oftentimes can get laws rewritten to preserve power and influence. Pressure from big business and labor groups is a major factor in why America is the only major world power without a nationalized healthcare system, and why there has been enormous growth in inequality, particularly as of late.

There are definitely many issues the United States needs to work out — from the financial system to elections — but with the status quo firmly set in place, there isn’t much indication that citizens should expect big-time change in the near-term.

Read more:

SUNDAY, AUGUST 31, 2014. 3:30 p.m. [GMT]


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2 Comments on “The most corrupt countries in the world – Transparency International/yahoo news”

  1. Tokunbo Ajasin Says:

    I’m being reminded that the fact that the Police had been successfully kept off the roads for some time might have accounted for Nigeria’s current position on the TI corruption index. Unfortunately, however, the Police toll points are slowly but surely finding their way back. I wonder if the new IGP is aware of this.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Mr. Ajasin,

      Thanks for this which brought laughter to me early today. I did not wonder wide afield but your conjecture must be part of it because where the police still ply their evil trade has been off the main roads to rural areas where they still continue to shake off the poor.

      It is widely-circulated – and so the Inspector General of Police (IGP) should know since he rose from among the ranks – that the takes from highway shake-downs by the foot soldiers of the police force are delivered up but one just hopes the IGP will wake up to this important part of his duties.

      Sincere regards,



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