Sierra Leone Telegraph: 22 December 2018:
President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone and the Anti-Corruption Czar – Francis Ben Kaifala will no doubt take a lot of comfort from the findings of the latest Afro Barometer round 7 corruption perception index report, published this week in Freetown by the civil society group – Campaign for Good Governance (CGG).
The report makes for encouraging reading, as president Bio and the Anti-Corruption Commissioner – Kaifala take the fight against corruption to a new and unprecedented level.
For the first time in the last few decades of the country’s post-independence history, the majority of Sierra Leoneans are feeling hopeful, and are of the opinion that corruption is being seriously tackled by a government.
Four out of every ten Sierra Leoneans (43%) questioned by the 2018 Afro-Barometer Corruption Perception Survey, say that corruption has increased in the past year.
This marked a huge improvement compared to 2015, when 70% said that corruption was on the increase, under the watch of the Koroma led APC government.
The 2018 Afro-Barometer Corruption Perception Survey report was published on Thursday, 20th December 2018, at the ACC Conference room by Campaign for Good Governance.
According to the report, Two-thirds of Sierra Leoneans say that the SLPP government is doing well in fighting corruption. This number is three times greater than the popular approval rating the APC government received in 2015.
In 2015, 70% of Sierra Leoneans disapproved of the Koroma government’s efforts in fighting corruption.
But this negative perception dropped in 2018 massively to 43%. In other words, 70% of Sierra Leoneans now believe in the fight against corruption, being led by president Julius Maada Bio with the help of the Anti-Corruption Commissioner – Francis Ben Kaifala (Photo).
Over half of Sierra Leoneans are now optimistic that authorities will take action when they report incidents of corruption, although a majority believe that citizens risk retaliation if they report such incidents.
The findings of the report is a clear manifestation of the huge popular support that the government and the ACC under Francis Ben Kaifala’s are enjoying, in their efforts to instil fiscal discipline and accountability and pursue the fight against corruption in the country.
Summary of Key findings of the report:
▪ Two-thirds (66%) of Sierra Leoneans say the government is performing “fairly well” or “very well” in fighting corruption. This represents a 47-percentage-point increase in public approval for the SLPP government, after a dramatic dip in 2015.
▪ Positive ratings for the government’s performance in fighting corruption are more common among rural residents (69%) than urban residents (61%), and in South (80%) and East regions (78%) than in the North (58%) and West (51%).
▪ Four in 10 Sierra Leoneans (43%) say the level of corruption in the country has increased over the past year, a sharp decrease from 70% in 2015.
▪ Rural residents (46%) are more likely than those in urban areas (39%) to say the level of corruption in the country has increased “somewhat” or “a lot”. The perception that corruption has increased is highest in the North (59%) and South (50%) regions and lowest in the East region (18%).
▪ Almost half (46%) say it is “somewhat likely” or “very likely” that authorities will take action when incidents of corruption are reported.
▪ More than half (53%) of Sierra Leoneans think that ordinary citizens can make a difference in fighting corruption, but six in 10 (59%) say they risk retaliation if they report incidents of corruption.
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in Africa.
Six rounds of surveys were conducted in up to 37 Africans countries between 1999 and 2016, and Round 7 surveys have been completed in 2018.
Afrobarometer conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples.
The Afrobarometer team in Sierra Leone, led by ITASCAP, interviewed 1,200 adult Sierra Leoneans in July 2018. A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.
Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) and Lena Thompson (a lecturer at the University of Sierra Leone) are responsible for disseminating the key findings of the survey. Previous surveys have been conducted in Sierra Leone in 2012 and 2015.