According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), released this Wednesday by Transparency International (TI), the perception of corruption in the public sector improved in five Portuguese-speaking countries, worsened in three, including Portugal, and remained in Cape Verde.
The highest rises were recorded by Brazil, which with 38 points climbed 12 places from 106 to 94, and Timor-Leste, which scored 40 points and a rise from 93 to 86, indicates the 2020 edition of the index that evaluates the perception of corruption in the public sector of 180 countries, scoring them from 0 (perceived as very corrupt) to 100 (perceived as very transparent).
Angola has made progress for the third year in a row, having managed to climb four places on the list.
In the same vein, Guinea-Bissau gained one point and climbed three places from 168 to 165.
Sao Tome and Principe climbed from 64 to 63 and gained 47 points, while Cape Verde remained at 41st with 58 points after climbing from 45 in 2019.
The country consolidated its position as the third highest ranked country in sub-Saharan Africa after the Seychelles (66 points) and Botswana (60 points), which occupy positions 27 and 35 respectively in the index.
Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe continue to score above the average for sub-Saharan Africa (32 points), the region with the worst performance in the CPI, and the overall average for the 180 countries (43 points).
Mozambique lost one point, from 26 to 25, and dropped three positions, from 146 to 149, after climbing 12 positions last year.
Portugal lost one point from 62 to 61 and fell from position 30 to 33.
Equatorial Guinea held on to 16 points from the previous index, but lost one place to 174 in 180 countries on the list.
Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index, created in 1995, is one of the world's leading indicators of the perception of corruption in the public sector in 180 countries.
The index reflects the perception of experts and business people rather than the general population.
Overall, Denmark and New Zealand share the top of the table with 88 points, followed by Finland, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland with 85.
Syria (178), Somalia (179) and South Sudan (180) occupy the bottom of the table, with 14 and 12 points respectively.
This year's report highlights the impact of corruption on government responses to covid-19 by comparing countries' performance on the index with their investment in health care and by analyzing the extent to which democratic norms and institutions were weakened during the pandemic.
Countries that perform well on the index have invested most in health care, proved more capable of providing universal health coverage, and were less likely to violate democratic norms and institutions or the rule of law.
"covid-19 is not just a health and economic crisis. It's a crisis of corruption that we are currently failing to manage," said Delia Ferreira Rubio, president of Transparency International.
"Last year tested governments like no other and those with higher levels of corruption have been less able to meet the challenge. But even those at the top of the index must urgently address their role in perpetuating corruption at home and abroad," she added.
By region, Western Europe and the European Union maintain the highest average with 66 points, and sub-Saharan Africa, with 32 points, remains the lowest ranked region, followed by Eastern Europe and Central Asia with 36 points.
Two-thirds of the 180 countries surveyed scored below 50 points, with the average for all countries standing at 43 points.
Twenty-six countries improved their scores from the previous index and 22 worsened.
The remaining countries recorded little or no change.