National revenue assurance audits for telcos are becoming increasingly common in Africa, and The Gambia is the latest country to join the list of countries seeking to implement a system that combines fraud detection, revenue assurance and mobile money monitoring. Last week President Adama Barrow announced the intention to implement a national RA system, as reported in The Point:
“The National Broadband Network seeks to supplement the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) and the ECOWAS Wide Area Network (ECOWAN) in addressing the national infrastructure challenges,” adding that government has put in place sufficient safeguards to affirmatively address the revenue leakage at our National and International Gateway.
Mr. Barrow hinted that a new measurement system will be installed to accurately document, monitor and digitally store all call traffics in and out of The Gambia.
He explained that among other things, this system is expected to include revenue assurance, anti-fraud management, IMEI Management, quality of service and mobile money monitoring.
We should apply professional skepticism when reviewing the reasons why national RA audits have become so popular so quickly. Nevertheless, the trend demonstrates a key aspect of selling revenue assurance. Where some lead, others follow. As more choose to invest in RA, others feel the need to replicate that investment. It is easy to dismiss the likelihood of leakage if everyone else dismisses it too, but difficult to ignore when everyone else says their investment in RA is generating considerable returns. African governments are undoubtedly copying each other. If we want to direct additional investment into areas like RAFM then we should publicize the best case studies and make it easy to copy them.