Corruption The World Over

We need to tell each other our stories. We need to show that everyone — our neighbors, our families, our community leaders — everyone we know is touched by corruption.

— Jennifer Lawrence, actress.

You Africans Are All Corrupt, In Sweden, There Is No Corruption

In 2004, I was a guest lecturer at The Gambia Hotel And Restaurant School. I asked my students to share any experience they had during their work placement. One of the students who was working at a poolside bar shared the following story.

It was a slow afternoon and a Swedish couple were the only customers for about an hour when 2 other couples came to relax near the pool and have a few drinks. The Swedish tourist told me to provide drinks for everyone. I severed everyone and after finishing their beverages the 2 couples left the poolside leaving the original Swedish tourist. A few minutes later the Swedish tourist asked me for the bill. He gave the bill to him and he immediately said, this bill is wrong, I did not order all these drinks. And you Africans are all corrupt. The bartender said to the tourist, corruption is an English word is it not? Yes, it is an English word. Sir, what is the Swedish word for corruption is korruption. Well sir, if there is no corruption in Sweden, why do you have a word for it?

Integrity, transparency, and the fight against corruption have to be part of the culture. They have to be taught as fundamental values.

— Angel Gurría, OECD secretary general.

Annual Corruption Index

In February 2023 Transparency International released the results of the annual Corruption Perception Index for 2022. The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories around the world by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, scoring on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). The country with the least corruption was Denmark with a score of 90 and Canada, my country of birth, was ranked 14th with a score of 74. Jamaica, my adopted country’s score was 69. Oh yes, Sweden, their ranking of 5th least corrupt and a score of 83.

History of Government Corruption In Canada

Canada’s history of government corruption dates back to the earliest years beginning with Canada’s first prime minister John A Macdonald who was forced to resign in 1873. It was known as the Pacific Scandal. The Pacific Scandal was a political scandal in Canada involving bribes being accepted by 150 members of the Conservative government in the attempts of private interests to influence the bidding for a national rail contract.

The following is a Wikipedia link to the history of the List of political scandals in Canada.

We all have directly or indirectly contributed to the corruption in our local, national, and international institutions. Many of us have jumped queues at government services using various types of privileges or possibly been part of much more serious corruption-related actions. We say to ourselves that somehow our actions are not hurting anybody or cause no harm.

The following are a few excerpts from an article regarding the state of corruption in Jamaica, my adopted home. Corruption in Jamaica Improves But Still Requires Attention – The Borgen Project

“In fact, corruption undermines democracy and the rule of law · It hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development. It is a major obstacle to poverty ..”

“Both real and perceived corruption has far-reaching consequences for poverty, especially in developing countries. In Jamaica, where social infrastructure is already lacking, corruption diminishes the quality of life by redirecting vital funding away from critical infrastructure such as healthcare, education, water, roads, and electricity.”

“Although Jamaicans still face an uphill battle in the fight against corruption in Jamaica, the message from Transparency International is very positive. By making anti-corruption a priority, Jamaicans can bring corruption to the curb, and alleviate much of the poverty and social ills that corruption perpetuates.”– Taylor Pace

“Glory and honour for man are not to be found in fortunes and riches, least of all in those which have been unlawfully amassed through extortion, embezzlement and corruption practiced at the expense of an exploited populace.” – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,


Chris Ward
Chris Ward
Chris is a Global Citizen and brings empathy, passion, service, and vision for nearly 40-years of global IT leadership to the table. Chris recently un-retired in 2019 from Siemens/Atos and launched a new career as a Serial Entrepreneur. His latest ventures are; Founding Partner at Advantage10 which is a global business education company providing service to entrepreneurs and innovators. Advantage10 simplifies business by applying systems thinking to projects and showing how business can be a place of motivation and healing. Chris is co-owner of, makers of a superfood product. He serves as a Board Advisor on two India-based Digital companies. He divides his “un-tirement time between Jamaica and Canada. He Serves as Volunteer Digital Record Department for the National Baha'i Community of Jamaica And Cayman Islands. “The earth is but one country & mankind are its citizens”. - Bahá’u’lláh

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