AD304: Cabo Verdeans want more government action against corruption

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Cláudio Alves Furtado and José António Vaz Semedo

Cabo Verde has long enjoyed a reputation for financial transparency and severe sanctions against fraud, bolstered by its independent central bank, independent judiciary, and Court of Auditors (African Development Bank, 2012).

Despite a few corruption scandals involving current and former government officials (A Nação, 2017; A Semana, 2014), the country has consistently ranked among the 50 least corrupt countries in the world on the Transparency International (2019) Corruption Perceptions Index. The 2018 index rated Cabo Verde third-best in Africa (after Seychelles and Botswana) and 45th out of 180 countries worldwide, down slightly from No. 38 in 2016.

In 2017, the Minister of Justice announced additional anti-graft measures, including creation of an independent council at the Court of Auditors to audit whether public investments are efficient and in line with public interests (Sapo Notícias, 2017), although adequate funding for the council depends on annual budgets.

According to the latest Afrobarometer survey, a majority of Cabo Verdeans want more government action against corruption. Citizens who see corruption in the country as increasing still outnumber those who see it as decreasing, and the perception that most police officials are corrupt actually increased slightly from 2014. A majority of citizens say ordinary people can help fight corruption, but the same proportion fear retaliation if they report incidents of bribery to the authorities.