Monthly Archives: July 2023

A Nation’s Struggle: An Investigation into Graft in Somalia

Executive Summary

This report offers an in-depth exploration of the corruption that is deeply rooted within various regions of Somalia, specifically those areas serviced by Hormuud Telecommunications. It provides crucial insights into the frequency, distribution, and financial extent of bribery. This investigation was motivated by growing concerns over the government’s anticorruption actions, which have raised doubts about their genuine commitment to addressing the issue.

Marqaati’s 2022 corruption report, released on 31st December 2022, highlighted the alarming misappropriation of funds, with $5,936,316.23 of international assistance and $4,543,045.46 of tax revenues unaccounted for.[1] These revelations intensified scrutiny on the government’s anticorruption efforts.

The situation escalated when the Auditor General was replaced with a politically exposed individual of questionable qualifications on 9th February 2023. This move was widely criticized and raised serious doubts about the impartiality of future audits. The arrest of some officials on corruption charges, seen as a performative measure, has done little to quell concerns, as bribery practices persist.

Further exacerbating the situation, in October 2022, the President dismissed the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Judicial Service Commission, two crucial institutions designed to combat corruption. This questionable move, widely seen as an effort to control these independent bodies, has cast doubt on the government’s dedication to eradicating corruption. To regain trust and make genuine progress in the fight against corruption, the government must recommit to empowering and creating permanent, independent, and constitutionally anchored institutions for anti-corruption. These should replace the temporary, performative measures that serve merely to appease donors.

To delve deeper into the corruption problem, a comprehensive telephone survey was conducted by marqaati between December 22, 2022, and January 12, 2023, involving 1037 randomly selected individuals. The survey revealed that bribe paying averaged more than 20% in many districts in the capital, Mogadishu, and 12% nationwide.

Another alarming finding was the startlingly low rate of complaints lodged following instances of bribery. Over 93% of respondents who admitted to paying a bribe did not file a complaint. The lack of avenues for reporting such incidents was a significant issue, with over 80% of respondents unsure about where or how to report these instances. This was further exacerbated by a general belief that no significant action would be taken against reported incidents of bribery.

Regarding bribe trends, over 90% of bribe-payers stated that the frequency of bribe requests either remained the same or increased compared to the previous year. This persistent trend indicates a significant lack of progress in combating corruption.

Moreover, the data revealed a troubling correlation between an entity’s power and involvement in bribe-taking. The Federal Government of Somalia’s security forces, for instance, were implicated in approximately 44% of bribe cases, suggesting systemic corruption within influential institutions.

This report underscores the urgent need for a comprehensive and effective approach to combat corruption in Somalia. By offering a nuanced understanding of the current state of bribery, it serves as a critical resource that can guide policymakers in devising robust and efficient anticorruption strategies.

Download the full report here:

[1] See our 2022 report: