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More Gambians Perceive Rising Corruption Without Government Fighting It




Latest Afrobarometer survey revealed that more Gambians perceive an increase in corruption in the country and the government fails to fight it.

Six in 10 Gambians (61%) say the overall level of corruption in the country increased “somewhat” or “a lot” during the past year, almost double the proportion recorded in 2018 (32%).

Three-fourths (76%) of citizens say the government is not doing a good job of fighting corruption, a 39-percentage-point increase compared to 2018 (37%).

More than four in 10 Gambians say “most”, or “all” officials in the police (48%) and the president’s office (42%) are corrupt. Public perceptions of corruption among key public officials increased sharply except with regard to religious leaders, the survey showed.

Other key findings of the pan-African research firm indicated that a significant number of the respondents for the survey alleged paying bribes in exchange for police assistance, among others.

Among respondents who had contact with key public services during the previous year, substantial proportions say they had to pay bribes to get police assistance (36%), avoid problems with the police (16%), or obtain identity documents (21%), medical care (12%), or public school services (9%).

Only half (49%) of Gambians say that ordinary people can report incidents of corruption to authorities without fear of retaliation or other negative consequences, a 9-percentage-point drop since 2018,” the survey stated.

According to the findings, a growing number of Gambians said corruption is on the rise and the government is not doing enough to combat; and over the past three years, the perceptions of citizens of widespread corruption among public officials have increased significantly.

It further stated that a substantial number of the citizens also reported paying bribes to obtain public services, and only half of them believe they can report corruption to the authorities without fear of retaliation.

The 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index ranked the Gambia 102nd  out of 179- meaning, The Gambia is more corrupt than the 101 countries of the 179 captured in the Index.

Despite its position on the Corruption Perceptions Index, The Gambia has neither an anti-corruption commission, nor an anti-corruption commission law; although it is a signatory to conventions, including the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption. The country’s anti-corruption bill tabled in December 2019 in parliament is yet to pass into law.

Afrobarometer surveys Afrobarometer is a pan-African, nonpartisan survey research network that provides reliable data on Africans’ experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life. Seven rounds of surveys were completed in up to 38 countries between 1999 and 2018. Round 8 surveys (2019/2021) cover 34 countries. It conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples.  The team in the Gambia, led by the Center for Policy, Research and Strategic Studies (CepRass), interviewed 1,200 adult Gambians between 30 January and 23 February 2021. A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points at a 95% confidence level. A previous Afrobarometer survey was conducted in the Gambia in 2018.

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