In many developing countries, corruption is simply a means to an end. The more political turmoil and underlying poverty, the more corrupt leaders and groups rise and govern the rest of the country. In this list of the 10 most corrupt countries in the world in 2015, we see some of the most unstable and unsafe nations around the globe. Most of these ten countries have garnered a high amount of exposure in global news, and reading about them makes us appreciate our democratic freedom a bit more.
The corruption rankings of countries around the world is actually measured by a global entity. There is even an index that gauges the amount of corruption in any given nation. The places on this list have scored among the worst in terms of political, economic, and social corruption and instability, and we are not incredibly surprised by the results. When a country is strapped for money, resources, and developmental stability and growth, it is so much easier for deceitful leaders to take the reins and lead people astray. We may be living in the year 2015, but some of the places on this list seem to transport us back to the dark ages.
This is a country that some of us may never have even heard of. This small country shares a border with Sudan and has had a closed-border policy in the past. Recently, they have started opening up to visitors and businesses in the hopes of improving a faltering Gross Domestic Product (about $4 billion.) There are bouts with labor laws and foreign businesses leaders using their presence to gain more power in Eritrea. To add to that situation is the fact that the presidency in Eritrea is extremely repressive. An autocratic ruling is made up of the president and his swarm of corruptive political leaders and advisors, many of whom have little to no experience in politics.
Freedom is almost like a foreign term in Libya, where businesses and properties, labor and citizens are scrambling to find some kind of liberty. As most of us have seen in newspapers and on news programs, Libya is an African country that is greatly struggling with political turmoil and uprisings. The country is currently undergoing a subsidy program to help offset the labor and business inefficiency, although a lack of stability and protection has greatly limited freedom in terms of business. As of right now, there is no suitable government entity in stable power, and demonstrations are a regular occurrence for citizens.
This little known and rarely talked about country is among the most repressed. The president has been in power since the late 1980s, and is adamant about limiting foreign business and investing. This results in a country that lacks resources and enough wealth and stability for its inhabitants. The people rely heavily on agriculture, but have been sucking any nutrients that are left out of the land. Many people do not have suitable, stable, or definitive jobs, and bribes make the political arena not only corrupt, but desperate and depleted of resources and certainty. Foreign companies find Uzbekistan to be wishy-washy and totally unclear on how it is turning things around.
This country is smushed between some of the most unstable and riotous nations in the world. Bordered by Afghanistan, Iraq, and Uzbekistan, this country ranks as the seventh-most corrupt nation. While the world may recognize Turkmenistan’s secular democracy, the government itself is more like a dictatorship that was formed after the Soviet Union split up. The authoritarian in charge is Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, who has given in to the surrounding corruption of his Middle Eastern counterparts. Much of the economic stability of Turkmenistan is controlled by the government, so a lot of money have seeped into corrupt hands and has also provided absolutely no incentive for foreign investments.
Here is a country that we may not be too surprised about. Iraq has a laundry list of problems: political turmoil, protests and uprisings, violence and a lack of experienced officials. Bloodshed is a common occurrence, and we would find it nearly impossible to find a nation that would willingly do business with them. With the government’s high rate of corruption, the lack of jobs, and a political structure that continues to crumble, how did Iraq only make it to number six on the list? No one is quite sure what to call the government, as constant uproar and power struggles plague the country. More developed nations are trying to help, but it is definitely a slippery slope.
5. South Sudan
South Sudan has only been a country since 2011, and its beef with the rest of Sudan may explain why it ranks as number five on this list. Over two million people have died in Sudanese conflicts, and with South Sudan being so young, there is not a lot of stability. The government is a breeding ground for corrupt leaders and officials to wield any power they have and further repress the country’s inhabitants. Most people survive through subsistence farming, and most of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product comes from oil, which so many other countries want to take advantage of. It is easy in a country that has no definitive political system or leader.
Another country that we would expect to see on the list, Afghanistan ranks at number four in terms of corruption. Insufficient data means that we are not even quite sure just how corrupt this nation is, but we know that there are tons of economic and political walls blocking the path to real, future change. Freedom on all fronts is stifled, whether it is businesses, governmental power, or economic stability. We can add to the mix drugs, inefficient leadership, and a lack of protection. A string of aggressive leaders has created an aid of danger and fear. With the help of developed nations, perhaps things can turn around.
It makes sense that this nation has made it to the top three. Considering the violence and fighting that has clouded this country in turmoil and weakness for years, we can see why Sudan is among the most corrupt countries. Sudan does not do business with most of the world, nor does it try to collaborate or stabilize itself with international partners. More than half of Sudan’s population is living in poverty, and any business or economic endeavors are crippled by unskilled and inexperienced officials, corrupt rights, and instability in various respects. Much of the political infrastructure is too informal to make real change.
2. North Korea
North Korea is actually tied for first place with item number one on our list. Clearly, this Asian country is among the most corrupt nation, with its totally closed-off society and repressed citizens. Think of North Korea as a black hole on earth – things get sucked in and nothing comes out. Except turmoil. So much turmoil. The details about North Korea remain sketchy, but it is believed that citizens have access to pretty much nothing and most of the country’s attention and assets go to military efforts. With its closed-off status, it is hard to determine what is happening over there, but all signs point to dark times.
Sharing the number one slot with North Korea is Somalia. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, Somalia basically has no government, and most of its inhabitants survive by farming or fishing. Somalian pirates are seen in the news for kidnapping passersby in the Indian Ocean, and various tribal groups wreak havoc within the nation. Violence, turmoil, and corruption are three all-too-familiar aspects that Somalian citizens experience on a daily basis. Its collapsing government and internal structure limit our ability to determine just how messed up Somalia really is. Political, social, and economic unrest continue to prevent the country from making truly positive change.