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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world


The African growth revolution? Mobile banking in a global age

Monday 28 March 2011

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) roundtable

Speakers included:

  • Henry Bellingham MP, UK Minister for Africa, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • H.E. Abdulkareem H. Jama, Minister of Information, Posts & Telecommunications, Somalia
  • Dr Louis Kasekende, Deputy Governor, Bank of Uganda
  • Mahesh Mishra, Private Sector Development Adviser, Investment & Finance Team, Department for International Development (DfID)
  • Michael Ward, Head of Commercial Diplomacy Taskforce, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
  • Lanre Akinola, Associate Editor, This is Africa, Financial Times Ltd
  • Funmilayo Omogbenigun, General Manger, Corporate Communications, MTN Nigeria
  • Adela Klirova, Public Policy Executive, Emerging Markets, Vodafone Group External Affairs
  • Kwaku Ofosu-Adarkwa, Chief Director (Permanent Secretary), Ministry of Communications, Ghana
  • Quan Le, Associate Director, PwC
  • Susie Lonie, Co-Creator, M-PESA, Vodacom
  • Eric Coffie, Head, M-Commerce, Airtel Africa
  • Ireti Samuel-Ogbu, Managing Director, Cash Management Head, Africa, Citigroup
  • Tomasz Smilowicz, Managing Director, Global Head of Mobile Solutions, Citi Global Transaction Services
  • Abdirashid Duale, British Somali entrepreneur and CEO, Dahabshiil (one of Africa's largest money transfer agencies)
  • Shaygan Kheradpir, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Global Retail Banking Division, Barclays
  • Sally Axworthy, Head of Department for East Africa, Great Lakes and Strategy, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
  • NneNne Iwuji-Eme, Head of Great Lakes Section, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)

This event explored how the success of mobile banking in countries such as South Africa and Kenya might be scaled up and replicated in other economies such as Ghana and Nigeria, where mobile phone penetration is good but markets hold great potential for further expansion. The event also examined those economies where mobile phone penetration is low and where technological innovation could provide limitless opportunities to rapidly bridge the development gap. In particular, the event sought to establish concrete recommendations for how to maximise the development impact of mobile banking services by creating an enabling and robust regulatory climate and competitive environment which promotes accessibility and for mobile banking service users, while developing a healthy investment climate to attract both domestic and foreign investors.

The event brought together approximately 50 participants from business and enterprise across the banking and telecommunications sectors, both in the UK and from Africa, as well as representatives from the UK and African governments and agencies (including regulators), as well as other key stakeholders.

Please see the links below for the concept note and speaker presentations.

The African growth revolution? Mobile banking in a global age: Summary Report

Funmi Omogbenigun presentation

Adela Klirova presentation

Kwaku Ofosu-Adarkwa presentation

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu and Tomasz Smilowicz presentation

The Challenges of Replicating and Scaling Up Mobile Banking Services

Abdirashid Duale presentation

Download Concept note - The African growth revolution? (180 kilobyte PDF)