Key representatives from over eight countries in Africa gathered at a workshop organized by Vodacom to look into trends and developments shaping the mobile money industry in Africa. Leading telecom company Vodacom also released its Future-Proofing Mobile Financial Services report at the workshop. The report, the first of Vodacom’s Public Policy Series, demonstrates how mobile money is driving economic growth and empowering lives through financial inclusion.
Managing Executive, Legal and regulatory from Vodacom Group, Judith Obholzer, said that Sub- Saharan Africa including Tanzania has witnessed rapid growth in mobile money operations and innovations enabling broad-based participation and access to financial services. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to the 10 economies worldwide where more adults now have mobile money accounts than at a financial institution. A game-changer in this region, Mobile Money continues to drive economic growth and social benefit by providing access to financial services to the millions of people who have a mobile phone but do not have or have only limited access to a bank account.
“Our aim is to provide a platform for leading experts to express their views on trends and developments shaping the industry. The industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace with policymakers and regulators playing a central role in facilitating and enabling an environment for financial inclusion,” said Ms. Obholzer.
A representative of the Bank of Tanzania who is Assistant Manager–Oversight and Policy at the National Payment systems Department, Mr. Albert Cesari underscored the important impact Mobile Financial Services have made on the economy and the important role of the workshop in ensuring the sustainability of the mobile financial service industry.
“The government is committed to ensuring that mobile financial providers continue to be effective players in the future and that they are able to provide the innovations and investments necessary in the technical and business dynamics in the financial payment market,” Cesari explained.
M-Pesa has been Africa’s most successful mobile money service. Research illustrates that mobile money has significantly contributed to social empowerment, economic growth and poverty reduction. It provides people with a safe, secure and affordable way to send and receive money, top-up airtime, make bill payments, receive salaries and gets a short-term loan.
Speaking during the launch of the new research on mobile money, Hisham Hendi, Managing Director, Vodacom Tanzania said: “Mobile money – supported by extensive mobile reach – has proven to be a platform for economic opportunity, transforming the financial services landscape, in particular on the African continent.” Mr. Hendi added “I am glad that this report brings together contributions by leading experts that speak to these three broader themes. They are diverse in their views and ambitions, critical and inspiring.”
The event brought together representatives from mobile network operators and a cross-section of sectors including Telecommunication, financial service providers, banking, CSO and regulators who addressed various topics including: Future-proofing Mobile Financial Services, Enabling Interoperability Frameworks – Payment Systems, Regional Integration and Cross-Border Opportunities, How to solve the legal identity problem, Best Practice Sharing and The Cloud Opportunity – Getting the Conditions Right.