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Risk management in the distribution sector in Angola

Michel Pedro


The trade and distribution sector was, in recent years, one of the fastest growing in Angola, with the emergence of commercial areas that, due to their dynamics, generate a large flow of information that need proper treatment and their activities have to comply with the country laws and directive standards.


Contrary to what one might think, the commerce and distribution sector is a major target for fraud, since the activity implies the generation of an intense flow of information and, consequently, the need for good data management and security and compliance with laws and regulations, the imperative need for compliance.

Given the dynamics that characterize the commerce and distribution sector, the implementation of compliance will be successful with the help of a channel capable of managing all this information in a fast, accurate and, most importantly, secure manner.

In Angola, professionals and platforms / institutions that offer compliance solutions seem to be more concerned with banking than with other sectors of the real economy. Banking sensitivity is recognized, but the "batteries" cannot all be turned towards it, because in a computerized world like ours, trade and distribution run the same risks as banking.

Although on a smaller scale, very interesting initiatives are already beginning to appear in the country on the prevention of fraud in distribution. Therefore, mitigating fraud risks, establishing a more controlled environment and reducing losses is one of the common objectives of areas such as Loss Prevention, Internal Controls, Compliance and Security.

When implementing anti-fraud programs and financial and reputational risk management, which can be more serious, using the appropriate tools is to strengthen the system of internal controls and the organization of the data flow of agents operating in the distribution sector, so that the laws fulfilled and financial losses can be minimized and, consequently, extinguished.

Sector risks, prevention and management

Poor information management combined with non-compliance with laws and regulations are factors that cause losses in the distribution sector that can reach millions of kwanzas. This number can triple if we consider other factors that cause losses, such as:

  • Suppliers;
  • Fraud, such as money laundering;
  • External thefts that are made by people not connected to the company directly as suppliers and transporters;
  • Internal thefts carried out by the company's own employees;
  • Administrative errors, such as product registration failure

Looking closely at the sector, it is possible to say that fraud is already known, but the answers to mitigate such actions are almost obsolete.

Some fraudulent actions: (I) the Sangria Deviation - the scheduled withdrawals of cash from cashiers by sector employees; (II) the Adaptation / exchange of PIN PAD - So called is the machine used to effect a transaction using a password; (III) Components subtracted from equipment - In this practice, the fraudster opens the packaging of a certain product inside a store and subtracts for himself a piece of that same product, be it a pin, support, whatever accessory.

In a country like Angola, characterized by high cost of living, even for those who have a job, distribution is a fertile field in terms of opportunities for deviations.

Based on the three principles that guide compliance: (i) prevention, (ii) detection and (iii) response, the implementation of anti-fraud programs creates synergies with the Loss Prevention and Risk Management areas.

These "integrity and compliance systems" mechanisms have become crucial for companies that want sustainability and longevity in the market. More than protection against existing risks, they encourage companies to assume changes in the internal structure and a central role in changing the country's culture.

However, Risk Management should be part of the agenda of the sector's executives, supporting and investing in controls so that areas such as loss prevention, risks, auditing, compliance and security can continue to make their important contributions to a distribution with results each more and more consistent.

Opinion of
Michel Pedro

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