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Revenue leakage in Africa blog post

Revenue leakage in Africa, a serious disease affecting the whole continent

Revenue leakage in Africa continues to be a serious issue for the continent today. Its main symptoms? Illicit financial flows, mobile and SIM box fraud and cyber-attacks.

Annual losses of more than 60 billion USD


These are just some of the numbers that illustrate Africa’s massive revenue loss, which has already become an endemic crisis for which the governments of the continent have yet to find a vaccine. However, some countries are already investing in “medicines”, such as solutions based on data analysis technologies. The latter can greatly alleviate the effects of these attacks on the continent’s economy, thanks to the detection and prediction of the illicit activities that cause these massive losses of income.

Technology, cause and solution of the continent’s revenue leakage

As digitization has progressed in the world, new forms of fraud and corruption have appeared, adding to the already-existing threats. Africa loses almost 10 billion USD a year, due only to illicit activities born of technological variants such as mobile phones or the Internet. To be exact, 150 million USD are lost to SIM box fraud, 3.5 billion to cybercrime, and 5 billion to mobile fraud every year, according to the Journal of Mobile Computing & Application, Dataprotect, and Evina, respectively.

Ironically, technology is also the most powerful medicine to heal the African economy. Big data solutions, when installed at the heart of a country’s economic intelligence, provide decision-makers with profound insights on the country’s economic behavior, which improves the decision- and policy-making processes, thus remedying the lack of oversight capabilities that allows the revenue leakage disease to take hold.

Fraud in both the financial and telecommunications sectors may be an infectious and debilitating illness, but tech companies, fintechs and regtechs are working to provide governments with digital tools that will help them not only to neutralize the existing epidemic, but also to prevent new strains.

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