Rwanda emerges third African country in fight against document fraud

On 30 January 2024 at 08:10

Smile ID, the leading digital identity verification and fraud detection services provider in Africa, has positioned Rwanda in the third spot in the ongoing fight against document and biometric fraud on the continent.

This acknowledgment underscores Rwanda’s substantial commitment to safeguarding official documents and thwarting their fraudulent utilization.

Smile ID’s comprehensive 64-page report, "Digital Identity Fraud in Africa," spanning from 2021 to December 2023, provides a meticulous analysis of document fraud across several African nations, including Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Angola, Cameroon, and Benin, all collaborating with the agency.

The report reveals a persistent surge in fraud rates across Africa, marking a worrisome trend over the past four years. Document and biometric fraud rates have steadily risen for six consecutive quarters since the second quarter of 2022.

Notably, there is a shift towards biometric fraud, reaching a record-high of 13% in the fourth quarter of 2023. The focus of fraudulent activities is primarily on national identity documents, constituting 80% of ID fraud attacks.

Despite the greater connectivity in Africa, which has brought people closer, it has also exposed more individuals and systems to criminal exploitation. The report issues a warning that without action, identity fraud could jeopardize Africa’s digital future and economy.

The "Digital Identity Fraud in Africa" Report delves into prevalent methods used by fraudsters, their behaviors, regional and industry trends, and offers crucial insights for businesses to combat fraud across the continent.

It also explores methods and technologies to combat document fraud, a significant concern for the security and legitimacy of administrative processes in these countries.

The report discloses that Senegal and Botswana lead the list with success rates of 90% and 88% in detecting fraudulent documents, closely followed by Rwanda with a 1% difference.

It also highlights that South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya have the highest rates of fraud on identity cards, with alarming rates of 34%, 32%, and 26%, respectively.

Peace Itimi, the Director of Marketing at Smile ID, emphasizes the report’s significance for African countries, enabling them to identify suitable technologies to detect and prevent fraud.

Rwanda’s success is attributed to the Rwanda Forensic Institute (RFI), playing a key role in providing specialized services, including the detection of counterfeit documents.

Between 2018/2019 and 2022/2023, the RFI contributed to resolving 37,363 cases based on forensic evidence.

Rwanda has emerged third African country in the ight against document fraud.