Botswana remains the least corrupt African nation, according to Transparency International’s (TI) latest Corruption Perception Index. The diamond-producing republic came in at 30 out of the 176 countries and territories sampled in this year’s index.
Long hailed as one of the continent’s most stable countries, Botswana also boasts of a multi-party democracy. A conscious grassroots effort to suppress corruption within its civil society and government has proven comparably effective.
Botswana has reasons to keep a close eye on corruption. Its economy relies so much on the extraction and exportation of diamonds. Also, protecting its wildlife is a major incentive and safari –based tourism remains a main attraction.
Botswana has a population of over 2 million. Perhaps practicing transparency and good governance in such a small population is less cumbersome than it would be in a country like Nigeria, where more than 160 million scramble to endure in a highly competitive and diverse environment. Nestled between Nepal and Pakistan on the TI index, the ‘giant of Africa’ scored 27, on a scale of 0 – 100, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means it is perceived as very clean.
Botswana may be a shining example of transparent governance in Africa, but it is my no means symptoms-free of the challenges that tend to arise with single-export economies. In Botswana, the success of the diamond industry has not trickled down quite enough and the country reportedly has one of the highest disproportions of wealth in the world.
By Chika Oduah