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Low Corruption

BuildingCompared with most African countries, corruption is not a major problem, with high levels of honesty prevalent in most transactions, in both the public and private sectors. The government is committed to "zero tolerance" of corruption based on the resolve that in Botswana corrupt practices must remain a "high-risk, low-return undertaking", as reiterated by President Mogae in his State of the Nation address of November 2003.

In 2002, Botswana was ranked 24th out of 102 countries rated by Transparency International (TI) and the highest of all the African countries surveyed - higher even than some European countries - receiving a 6.4 grading (where 0 is most corrupt and 10 is cleanest/most transparent). In 2003, Botswana's score was slightly lower at 5.7, but this was still the best grading received by an African country, with Botswana ranked 30th out of the 133 countries surveyed that year, ahead of Tunisia (39th) and Namibia (41st).

The government is determined to prevent corruption taking hold and in 1994 the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) was set up. The DCEC has powers to investigate (but not prosecute) corruption cases, and to implement preventative strategies and carry out public education on the issue. Its director reports to the president, with decisions on prosecutions taken by the attorney general - a position constitutionally independent of the government.

There have been some high profile corruption cases in recent years, most but not all   of which have resulted in convictions. Some funding provided under the now- abolished financial assistance policy was found to have been misused by certain investors. But the increase in general prosperity and relatively well-paid civil service have combined to limit the extent of corruption. A Botswana TI chapter was established in 2002 and the independent local media gives prominent coverage to instances of alleged corruption.

Legislation is also in place to prevent money laundering and associated white-collar crimes, and to ensure the integrity of operations carried out through the Botswana International Financial services Centre (BIFSC). A recent amendment to the Serious Crimes Act has strengthened existing provisions on the prevention of concealment and disposition of the proceeds of crime. It is now mandatory for banks and all other commercial firms to report any suspicious business relationships and transactions involving the transfer of cash into and out of Botswana, subject to stringent penalties.

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2012-04-01
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2011-10-14
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