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African economy digitization, a governmental issue

Although the mobile phone boom in African represents a windfall in terms of communication and financial inclusion, it goes along with an increase in fraud and a subsequent loss of revenue for governments due to weak governance in the telecom sector. A penalizing shortfall that Global Voice Group aims to rectify.

This paradoxical situation explains the progressive awareness from African governments of the need for better regulation in the telecom sector. Indeed, mobile telephony tremendous growth represents a unique opportunity for the continent to structure the governance of the sector, optimize regulatory compliance and allow States to take advantage of this windfall for the benefit of their countries in the form of development projects and infrastructures.

This is the credo on which GVG has been consolidating its expertise for over twenty years. With a specific objective: help regulators and government agencies to be part of their digital agenda by providing key data to improve regulation, compliance monitoring, revenue assurance, fraud prevention and digital identification.

A pioneering approach  

GVG’s solutions were initially focused on monitoring national and international telephone communications, before expanding to mobile money transactions in 2014. The company has progressively launched in fifteen African countries IT projects related to telecom supervision and regulation, fraud management, revenue mobilization, electronic tax control and the oversight of digital financial services..

In terms of digital financial services, GVG processes and analyzes each year 25% of mobile money flows in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2018 alone, the equivalent of 90 billion USD in mobile money transactions were verified. The combination of these approaches has allowed GVG to generate over 2.5 billion USD in additional revenue for recipient countries between 2008 and 2018.

Success of anti-fraud services 

GVG has a solid track record in providing Governments and Authorities with the necessary digital solutions to identify and combat telecom fraud. More precisely, GVG has detected over 300 000 illegal lines in Africa over the last 10 years of operations.

Tanzania is an emblematic example of this increased attention regarding compliance with regulatory obligations. While financial losses and widespread fraud in the telecom sector had become uncontrollable, according to President John Magufuli, GVG’s telecom traffic monitoring system has enabled the country to collect comprehensive data on traffic volumes, traffic-related fraud and other critical information that was previously unknown. Thanks to this digital solution, the Tanzanian regulator has collected about 40 million USD in revenue in five years and has managed to eliminate almost all cases of fraud related to incoming international calls, reducing them from more than 65% to 10%.

Big data and digital identity 

GVG’s anti-fraud services have also been very convincing in Ghana and have also demonstrated their effectiveness in Rwanda, where it was implemented in 2012, by identifying and providing operators with fraudulent numbers bypassing the international voice-data traffic system. SIM box fraud, which represents about 5% of the volume of calls tested in the country, makes it possible to pass off an international call as a local one via the Internet, to the prejudice of the State and operators. Anti-fraud detection system helped operators and the Rwandan government protect their income and maintain high quality of service.

Big data and digital identity, the upcoming major building block to improve the delivery of government services, represent the two levers of Africa’s digital development by improving regulation, compliance monitoring, revenue assurance and fraud prevention. These are the two prerequisites that will enable Africans to become players in the digital economy.