Madagascar’s Ongoing Struggle Against Corruption

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Transparency International, a renowned non-governmental organization, unveiled its annual Corruption Perceptions Index on Tuesday, January 30, in Antananarivo, shedding light on Madagascar’s persistent challenges in combating corruption.

Among 180 countries assessed in 2023, Madagascar scored 25 out of 100, with zero representing the highest level of corruption. This score, indicative of the island nation’s struggle to curb malpractices within its government, has remained largely unchanged in recent years and falls below the African continent’s average.

Recent headlines in local newspapers highlight a surge in corruption scandals in Madagascar. In 2022, for instance, the Court of Auditors raised concerns about the executive branch’s handling of COVID-19 funds, pointing to a potential risk of misappropriation of the 972 million ariary allocated to the pandemic response. Despite these revelations, no discernible action has been taken by anti-corruption agencies.

Ketakandriana Rafitoson, the Executive Director of Transparency Madagascar, attributes this stagnation to impunity and the perceived powerlessness of anti-corruption institutions. She notes that the allocated resources for these institutions are severely limited, constituting only 0.13% of the state budget last year.

This stark incongruity between declared priorities and the paltry budget underscores the prevailing challenges. Madagascar has yet to regain its 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index score of 32/100, despite the proliferation of anti-corruption rhetoric.

In response to these concerns, Augustin Andriamananoro, the Malagasy Minister of Communication and Culture, representing the executive branch, expressed support for Transparency’s efforts. He acknowledged the immense task at hand and emphasized the government’s commitment to combat corruption. “Madagascar is not among the model students, nor among the worst. But the challenge is immense,” he declared.

In 2018, the re-elected Head of State had pledged to “eradicate corruption,” a promise that Transparency International now seeks to hold the government accountable for. The NGO sets a realistic goal for Madagascar to achieve a score of 30/100 on its Corruption Perceptions Index by 2027. Additionally, it presents a more ambitious target of reaching a score of 60/100 by 2040, equivalent to Botswana’s current performance.

As the nation grapples with endemic corruption, the call for decisive and immediate action reverberates, urging the government to translate promises into tangible results. Madagascar’s journey towards a corruption-free future requires collaborative efforts, increased budgetary allocations, and unwavering commitment from all stakeholders.

Soukaina Sghir

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