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A damning 2022 corruption report on Ghana has shed light on the pervasive issue of bribery within the country’s public sector.

According to the findings, police officers have emerged as the most susceptible to bribery among all public officials, with an alarming prevalence rate of 53.2 percent.

The survey, conducted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in partnership with the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), presents a concerning snapshot of the extent of corruption.

Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) Officers and Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) customs officers also ranked high on the list, with bribery rates of 37.4 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively.

Notably, elected government representatives exhibited a substantially lower prevalence of involvement in bribery, registering at a mere 2.9 percent.

Bribes paid to public officials come in different forms. Almost 9 out of 10 of those paid in Ghana are in the form of cash (84.8 per cent). Food and drink and the exchange of a public service for another service are far less common, although in the country’s rural areas (17.8 per cent) more bribes are paid in the form of food and drink than in its urban areas (10.1 per cent).

Total cash bribes paid in Ghana are the equivalent of almost one third of the 2021 budget of the Ministry of Education.

Cash bribes are 1.5 times larger in urban than in rural areas of the country, with the national average bribe amounting to Ghanaian cedi 348. Given that roughly 17.4 million bribes were paid in Ghana in 2021, a total of roughly Ghanaian cedi 5 billion is paid in cash bribes to public officials on a yearly basis in Ghana, or the equivalent of 32.9 per cent of the 2021 budget of the Ministry of Education.

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