Corruption Perception Index
The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) by Transparency International (TI) measures the extent of corruption in the public sector of 178 countries worldiwde. In 2011 Kenya was ranked 154th worldwide. Regionally, the country is ranked as the most corrupt state ahead of Uganda at position 143 and Tanzania at 100.
In July 2011, the Kenyan Government lauched an open data web portal, the first in Sub Saharan Africa. Through www.opendata.go.ke, the government provides citizens and over sight institutions access to hundreds of government datasets on health, education, access to infrastructure, poverty levels, water and sanitation services as well as information on expenditure and procurement. There are maps, interactive charts, tables and raw data for technical users to build applications and make independent analyses. Open data is a crucial element of open governance – the commitment of governments to being accountable to their citizens.
The Open Government Partnership (www.opengovpartnership.org), or OGP, is a new multilateral initiative that aims “to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance”. Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are some of the countries currently eligible to join the OGP. Their elibibility stems from their “demonstrated commitment to open government” in the key areas of budget transparency, access to information, asset disclosure by politicians and officials, and citizen engagement. The partnership was launched in September 2011.
Freedom of Information
Many African governments are reluctant to pass Freedom of Information (FOI) laws and those that have such laws are reluctant to implement them or have wide ranging exemptions to the kinds of information which may not be accessed by the public.
Uganda is among the few of the continent’s 54 states with a FOI law. However, other laws related to national security and confidentiality impede open access to information in practice.
In Tanzania, the Right to Information Act; Public Leadership Code of Ethics Act, and; Whistleblowers Act are still pending. It is believed that if passed, these laws would help enhance transparency and demonstrate political will to further strengthen Tanzania‘s legal framework.
In 2007, the Information Ministry of Kenya publised a draft freedom of information policy and bill but it is yet to be passed into law.