The European Union (E.U) has threatened to bar Kenya from doing business with its member states as a result of corruption.
This statement was made by the E.U Ambassador to Kenya, H.E Henriette Geiger who was speaking ahead of the Kenya E.U Business forum that will be hosted in Nairobi on 21st and 22nd February 2023. In her speech, Ms. Geiger said that it is in Kenya’s best interest to fight off corruption speedily because it may put off the investors. The ambassador also went on to add that Kenya is on the watchlist due to money laundering. This results in scaring off people from investing in the country.
Ms. Geiger was reacting to the recent Corruption Perception Index (CIP) by Transparency International that was released on Tuesday, 31 January, 2023. Kenya came in at position 123 out of 180 globally with 32 points out of 100. This was an improvement from 2021’s results where we were at position 128 out of 180 with 30 points.
The results also showed that Kenya’s score of 32 points was equal to the sub-Saharan average of 32 but was lower than the global average of 43. Therefore, being a point of concern since a score of less than 50, according to Transparency International, signifies high levels of public sector corruption.
The CIP results indicate that corruption is still a major problem in our society. It has become so common to the point that it is almost normal. Corruption has undermined our country’s development and progress. It also takes many forms from petty bribery to large-scale embezzlement of public funds.
One of the most evident types of corruption that we have all encountered at some point is petty bribery. This happens particularly in the public sector. People frequently pay bribes in order to access fundamental services like getting a passport or accessing medical care. This not only undermines trust in the government and public institutions but also unfairly burdens the most vulnerable and poor members of society.
Another type of corruption that is widespread is grand corruption, in which powerful individuals embezzle huge sums of public funds.
Fighting off corruption will require a multifaceted strategy where the government and the public actively collaborate to eradicate this plague. Together, we can make progress in Kenya so that corruption is no longer an obstacle to development. This will be tremendously beneficial for us as a country.