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How corrupt is Somalia?

According to Transparency International Somalia was ranked the most corrupt country in the whole world.

“. . . Not all governments are looking out for the best interests of their citizens. In fact, many countries have been caught up in political scandals and corruption. Some have even had such a history of corruption, that it has caused political unrest against its citizens. While there isn’t a surefire way to measure corruption within a nation, there are data that can be used to rank countries that are seen as the most corrupt. For instance, the Corruption Perceptions Index, which was originally launched in 1995, uses expert assessments and opinion surveys to determine how corrupt a country is. The CPI defines corruption as “the misuse of public power for private benefit. ”Through this re- port, 180 countries are ranked on a scale from 0 to 100. The lower the score, the more corrupt a country is perceived to be. As of October 2018, the 2017 report was the latest to be released. It was released on February 21, 2018. Through this survey, it is reported that Somalia is the most corrupt country in the world, receiving a score of just 9 out of 100” (Transparency International).

The Xinhua News Agency reported on October 29, 2018, that the Somali Government approved 340 million U.S dollars for the 2018/2019 financial year (Xinhua News Agency). The balk of the budget was secured from international donors, while a fraction of that came from domestic tax revenue collected from residents of Mogadishu since the control of the federal government is confined in the city limits of the capital.

On October 3, 2018, Voice of America reported, “Al-Shabab and pro-Islamic State militants in Somalia are engaged in an economic war, and it is the country’s business sector that is getting cut down in the crossfire.- Somali businessmen and analysts say the rival Islamist groups are targeting companies to an unprecedented degree with demands for so-called taxes. Al-Shabab has already strong-armed business owners for years to finance its war against the Somali government and African peacekeepers who protect it. Now, al-Shabab is stepping up its demands, and pro-IS groups are apparently trying to fund its own activities by copying Shabab’s tactics of pay up-or- pay the consequences” (Maruf).

Unfortunately, the Somali business community are between rock and hard place and are facing major difficulties in keeping up a profitable business since they are being double at times triple taxed by the government and the two rival terrorist groups.

In the Aid Flow Data Analysis Chart of 2017 from UNDP, there are two kinds of partners: reporting and non-reporting. The aid flow from non-reporting partners comes from Middle Eastern countries such as Qatar, Kuwait, and others. Non-reporting partners’ funds are not accounted for and are not recorded in the national treasury, therefore are subject to widespread corruption and bribery as these funds are off the books.

The funds from the reporting partners are entered into the AIMS (Somali Aid Information Management System) — a newly adopted financial accounting system. On the other hand, the non-reporting partners’ funds (dark money) is utilized to buy loyalty or to buyout undesirable regional leaders. They are currently planning to declare a national state of emergency in order to justify and extend the upcoming election beyond the intended date of 2020.

The dark money is usually carried in suitcases (mafia style) on airplanes to be disbursed whenever they find it necessary.

Farmajo is currently engaged in an all-out war against two member states (Gal-Mudug and Jubaland) in order to forge loyal heads of states, by any means necessary, even if it involves loss of lives as was the case in the south-western region – Baidoa. It is obvious that Farmajo is employing the same tactics as the former dictator “modus operandi.”

The international donors and stake-holders must pay close attention and ensure that the Somali government is disclosing all funds it receives both from reporting and non-non-reporting partners.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mohamed Adan Samatar is a Former State of Arizona Government Management and holds BSc, MS Agriculture. He can be reached adan.samatar01[@]gmail.com

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints of Somaliland Chronicle, and its staff. 

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Notice: This article by Somaliland Chronicle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Under this license, all reprints and non-commercial distribution of this work is permitted.

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