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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world


The financial revolution in Africa: Mobile payments services in a new global age

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An FPC, FCO, City of London and 'This is Africa' conference

DATE: Wednesday 28 March 2012

TIME: 10.00am - 5.00pm (registration from 9.30am)

VENUE: City of London venue (tbc)

A summary report of the conference is available here

Speakers included:

  • Baroness Lindsay Northover, Government Whip & Spokesperson on International Development
  • Sam Gyimah MP, UK Parliamentary International Development Committee
  • Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister Innovation Science & Digital Infrastructure
  • Gilbert Mbesherubusa, Vice President, African Development Bank
  • Susie Lonie, Co-Creator, M-PESA and SJL CS Ltd
  • Michael Joseph, Vodafone Group & World Bank Adviser
  • Lanre Akinola, Editor, This is Africa (Financial Times Ltd)
  • Claire Alexandre, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Mahesh Mishra, UK Department for International Development
  • Quan Le, GMX Consulting Ltd
  • V. Claude Ramazani Mwambo, Central Bank of the Congo
  • Usoro Anthony Usoro, MTN
  • Christine Hougaard, Finmark Trust
  • Leon Isaacs, International Association of Money Transfer Networks
  • Shane Riedel, Director, Compliance, Citigroup
  • Dominic Peachey, Flawless Money Ltd
  • Lucy Kinunda, Director, National Payment Systems, Bank of Tanzania
  • Lola Adebanji, EMEA Regional Lead, Mobile Initiatives, Citigroup
  • Eli Hini, MTN Ghana
  • Cicero Torteli, Freeddom
  • Matthew Dill, Visa Inc
  • Prateek Shrivastava, Monitise Group Plc

Revenues from mobile payment transactions through mobile money payments services such as M-PESA in Kenya are estimated to reach approximately US$265 billion by 2015, up from approximately US$25 billion in 2010. Much of the innovation and revenue opportunities are concentrated in the developing world and high growth emerging economies in regions such as Africa, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Middle East, where more than one billion people have access to a mobile phone but little, if any, have access to formal financial services. Across these regions, the mobile money user base will account for almost 85 per cent of mobile money users worldwide by 2013.

The Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) in partnership with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and in association with the City of London and This is Africa, the FT's bi-monthly magazine, hosted this one day London conference focused on how to regulate and expand the provision of mobile payments services across Africa and beyond. The event aimed to develop an evidence-based understanding of the risks and challenges associated with regulating and expanding mobile payments services in a global age of financial austerity and economic uncertainty. Through a series of main plenary sessions and working group discussions, the aim of the event was to bring together and pool the thinking of many of the experts and specialists operating in the global mobile money sector. The conference sought to promote greater dialogue, an exchange of ideas and partnership between financial regulators, telecommunications network providers, manufacturers, banks (and financial institutions), technology providers, development practitioners, consumer groups and many other key stakeholders. After the event, two outputs were produced:

Some presentations from the conference are available to download:

Download Conference flyer (240 kilobyte PDF)