U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.

Query

Could you please provide an overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Ghana?

Note

A 2014 update of this Helpdesk answer is now available. See the answer.

Purpose

Our agency is planning to increase its development cooperation and open an embassy in Ghana. The information will serve as input to preparation for this.

Content

1. Overview of corruption in Ghana
2. Anti-corruption efforts in Ghana
3. References

Summary

Major governance indicators show that Ghana has achieved significant progress over the last few years in terms of government effectiveness, transparency of the regulatory framework and control of corruption. However, although it not perceived as extensive as in most other African countries, corruption remains a significant problem in the country. Petty corruption is persistent and there is evidence of forms of political corruption including looting of state assets. Sectors most affected by corruption include the police, political parties, and public financial management - in particular with regard to public procurement, tax and customs administration. With the recent discovery of offshore oil fields, the country’s past record in managing its mineral wealth has raised concerns over its ability to manage oil revenues in a transparent manner and avoid a “resource curse”.

The government has a strong anti-corruption legal framework in place, but faces challenges of enforcement. A number of institutions were established in the 1990s to address corruption, such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the Serious Fraud Office, and the Public Procurement Authority. The Serious Fraud Office has recently been replaced by the Economic and Organised Crime Office with additional powers to investigate and prosecute corruption cases. However, various reports underline the need to strengthen the independence and capacity of these various anti-corruption bodies.

Considered as one of the most vibrant emerging democracies in the region, civil society has the political space to develop, meet and campaign for anti-corruption issues freely and without major interference.

Authors

Marie Chêne, Transparency International, mchene@transparency.org

Date

22/02/2011

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