Johannesburg - Bribery, theft and other kinds of fraud cost
African governments and companies at least $10.9bn last year, auditing firm
KPMG estimated in a study on Wednesday, a sobering reminder of the challenges
facing the fast-growing continent.
KPMG said it arrived at the figure after scouring
English-language news reports and databases of fraud cases from 2011.
The actual cost of fraud is likely much higher, given that
the study was limited to information in the public domain, said Petrus Marais,
a forensic investigator with KPMG.
However, he said many governments appear to be making
headway in fighting fraud and other types of corruption.
“There is a strong sense that the tide is turning. More and
more countries are making combating corruption an issue of government.”
The inaugural “Africa Fraud Barometer” found a total of 875
cases of fraud in Africa last year.
Management were responsible for $4.5bn worth of fraud, or
40% of the total for the year.
Governments and the public sector were the most frequently
impacted by fraud, accounting for 44% of all cases in the first half of 2011
and 39% in the second half.
South Africa and Nigeria had the highest number of reported
The role of a free press in digging up corruption is
critical to fighting fraud, Marais said.