Citi Global Transaction Services (GTS) and the GSMA, which represents the worldwide mobile communications industry, hosted a conference in Nairobi entitled ‘Mobile Money Policy Forum: Partnerships for Financial Inclusion in Africa’.
The two-day event was designed to discuss regulatory frameworks to enable mobile commerce in Africa. Mobile commerce (m-commerce), and specifically the use of electronic money (e-money), is enabling the unbanked populations of many countries in Africa to conduct financial transactions via a mobile phone, including personal and business transactions which can replace cash transactions.
Maria Otero, undersecretary for democracy and global affairs, US Department of State, and James Wolfensohn, ninth president of the World Bank and chairman of Citi International, spoke at the forum.
Representatives from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda – including Prof Njuguna N’dungu, the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya – shared best practices from the implementation of mobile commerce in East Africa with representatives of participating countries from central Africa including Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Cameroon and Gabon. The agenda also included a review of the regulatory landscape in the region, critical success factors to promote financial inclusion, and working group sessions to implement these practices.
Ade Ayeyemi, head of Citi GTS, Africa, said: “The provision of mobile commerce is enabling financial inclusion broadly in Africa. Recognising this, Citi was pleased to host the Mobile Money Policy Forum to encourage regulation in several markets. The mobile phone’s ubiquity provides an existing and cost efficient channel for the unbanked to reach the market and the market to reach the unbanked.”
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