Thursday, October 20, 2005

Transparency International: Morocco comes 78th in international corruption survey

Transparency International (TI), an anti-corruption NGO, has issued its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for the year 2005, showing Morocco at the 78th position among 159 countries.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, the NGO said that more than 73% of the 159 nations surveyed scored less than 5 points out of 10.

Morocco, along with China, Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Suriname, had an alarming 3.5-point score.

The results of the CPI offer a composite survey based on the perceptions of business people and country analysts. It draws on a series of polls organized by independent institutions in each country.

For a country to be included, it must feature at least three polls. In Morocco, eight polls were organized among persons active in the fields of business, diplomacy, and university studies.

After the positive signs noted between the years 1999 (45th) and 2000 (37th), the course of the country's corruption index changed in an appalling way.

In 2002, Morocco was 52nd on the list. It moved to the 70th position in 2003, the 77th in 2004, then the 78th this year.

Transparency Maroc (TM), TI's branch in Morocco, said “public powers should urgently understand the seriousness of the current situation, and its disastrous consequences on the accessibility and quality of the Moroccan public services, economy, employment, as well as the country's image and level of economic attractiveness.”

It is high time, Transparency Maroc said, that everyone played their role in the struggle against the phenomenon, although the major responsibility is to be shouldered by public powers. After all, facing the problem is not a mission impossible.

“Corruption isn't a natural disaster: it is the cold, calculated theft of opportunity from the men, women and children who are least able to protect themselves,” said David Nussbaum, TI's chief executive.

Within this framework, the Moroccan Government is called to take action in accordance with the United Nation's Convention against Corruption, and activate strong means to combat all those responsible for the phenomenon.

But the country unfortunately still suffers from rampant corruption in the majority of its sectors.

“Leaders must go beyond lip service and make good on their promises to provide the commitment and resources to improve governance, transparency and accountability,” Nussbaum added.

Among the Arab countries, Morocco figured on the 11th position. The Arab list was headed by Oman, 28th on the general list (6.3 points). Iraq (2.2 points) came last on the Arab countries, 137th on the whole surveyed countries.


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