Is Africa more heavily targeted by cybercrime than other continents? Interpol certainly thinks so. The figures gathered by the international police organisation, which published a detailed report on the subject on 21 October, are indisputable. Throughout the course of 2020, the number of cyberattacks recorded in certain regions more than doubled. In East Africa, the increase was as much as 55%, and across the continent as a whole, they are estimated to have cost a modest sum of $4.1bn. In Côte d’Ivoire alone, cybercrime has cost 20bn CFA francs (about $35m).
Unfortunately, Africa is a prime target due to its young and ultra-connected population, the widespread use of mobile phone banking and, above all, its serious cybersecurity deficiencies. These attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated and are being carried out by increasingly professional and organised cybercriminals. The continent as a whole is a major hotbed of cyber scammers.
There's more to this story
Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.
Already a a subscriber Sign In