Somalia: The Worst Gets Worse Featured

Somalia is tied with South Sudan as the two most corrupt places on the planet. The extent of this corruption can be seen in the international surveys of nations to determine who is clean and who is corrupt. For 2020 Somalia shared last place among 180 nations in international rankings compared with sole possession of last place in 2019.

These ratings and ranking are updated each year for the annual Transparency International Corruption Perception Index. Corruption is measured on a 1 (most corrupt) to 100 (not corrupt) scale. The most corrupt nations (currently Venezuela and Yemen at 15, Syria at 14, South Sudan and Somalia at 12) have a rating of under 16 while of the least corrupt (New Zealand and Denmark) are both 88.

For 2020 the least corrupt nation in region was UAE (United Arab Emirates), which ranked 21st out of 180 nations. The current UAE score is 71 (same as 2019) compared to 21 (28) for Kenya, 38 (37) for Ethiopia, 27 (28) for Uganda, 27 (30) for Djibouti, 61 (61) for Israel, 67 (69) for the United States, 33 (35) for Egypt, 25 (26) for Nigeria, 44 (44) for South Africa, 21 (20) for Iraq, 40 (39) for Turkey, 53 (53) for Saudi Arabia, 33 (30) for Ukraine, 47 (45) for Belarus, 56 (58) for Poland, 80 (80) Germany, 65 (65) for Taiwan, 40 (39) for Turkey, 40 (41) for India, 30 (28) for Russia, 61 (57) for South Korea, 42 (41) for China, 18 (14) for North Korea, 36 (37) for Vietnam, 85 (85) for Singapore, 74 (73) for Japan, 37 (40) for Indonesia, 38 (38) for Sri Lanka, 34 (34) for the Philippines, 31 (32) for Pakistan, 26 (26) for Bangladesh, 25 (26) for Iran, 19 (16) for Afghanistan, 28 (29) for Burma, and 25 (28) for Lebanon.

Both Somalia and UAE’s corruption score have not changed much since the 2011 Arab Spring revolution when it was 8 for Somalia and 68 for the UAE. The UAE achieved the most favorable corruption score in the region because it has long depended on foreign trade to survive and to make money in that business you must be known as an honest trading partner. The UAE is also different in that it is a federation of formerly independent “emirates” that realized the wisdom of joining forces. Laws and customs vary somewhat among the emirates and some are more gangster than others. But overall the UAE is a place where foreigners feel comfortable doing business. The UAE has also partnered with Turkey to provide foreign aid to Somalia. This has proved very difficult to carry out and Somalia is definitely not a place most foreigners want to do business in. Somalia is also a federation of seven (including separatist Somaliland and Puntland in the far north) clan-dominated regions that have never achieved the degree of unity and prosperity of the UAE.

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