WASTA in MENA

Screenshot from: https://www.transparency.org

Transparency International published its new Global Corruption Barometer for Middle East & North Africa (MENA-)region. Its findings: Corruption endangers democracy.

The Arab Spring was intended not only to free the people from suppressing regimes but also to stop corruption and bribery within its elite’s networks. Today, nine years after the wave of Democratisation  seized the entire north of Africa, there’s not much left of this enthusiasm. Corruption continues to be a daily reality for the people in the region. 

65 percent of survey participants feel an increase in corruption over the past twelve months and 66 percent of them think that their governments aren’t doing enough against it. The most critical country here is Sudan, where more than 80 percent of its people thing that corruption has increased. In the Corruptions Perceptions Index, published by Transparency International, too, Sudan is ranked as 172 of 180 – as one of the most corruptive countries globally.

Regarding the percentage of people which are most critical towards their own government in not competing against corruption, Lebanon is leading. Here, 87 percent of people thing that their government is doing badly in tackling corruption. 

It is estimated that about 11 million people being active in public services in MENA-region made a bribe. This reflects to a “tradition” that is commonly famous in Northern Africa, called Wasta. Here, personal connections are used to receive advantages. While personal connections are globally a major driving factor to getting things done, they are becoming a problem when knowing each other is the only reason why something happens. 

Thus, democracy is under pressure again. More than 50 percent of people are disappointed as democracy did not end with corruption and Wasta. People do not even trust in media. The same percentage assumes that is often spread around elections 

The report can be downloaded here: