Citi Global Transaction Services and the GSMA Host Mobile Money Policy Forum in Africa
Delegates Discuss Regulatory Frameworks for Mobile Commerce in Africa
London, Nairobi - December 2, 2010 – Citi Global Transaction Services and the GSMA, which represents the worldwide mobile communications industry, hosted a conference in Nairobi this week titled "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, and specifically the use of 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, were featured speakers 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 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 Global Transaction Services, 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."
Gabriel Solomon, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, GSMA, said: "Mobile is a pervasive infrastructure that is accelerating economic and social development across the globe. With more than 5 billion connections, mobile is the only platform that can be leveraged to achieve broad financial inclusion. As the GSMA and Citi partnership demonstrates, mobile money is a win-win for banks and mobile operators; working collectively, we can all capitalise on the significant opportunity before us."
The forum was also attended by industry participants including key mobile network operators, CEOs from major utility and large public sector entities, as well as NGOs active in promoting financial inclusion including CGAP and the Gates Foundation.
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.
Global Transaction Services
Global Transaction Services, a division of Citi’s Institutional Clients Group, offers integrated cash management, trade, and securities and fund services to multinational corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations around the world. With a network that spans more than 100 countries, Citi’s Global Transaction Services supports over 65,000 clients. As of the third quarter of 2010, it held on average $340 billion in liability balances and $12.4 trillion in assets under custody.
The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world's mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organisations. The GSMA is focused on innovating, incubating and creating new opportunities for its membership, all with the end goal of driving the growth of the mobile communications industry.
For more information, please visit Mobile World Live, the new online portal for the mobile communications industry, at www.mobileworldlive.com or the GSMA corporate website at www.gsmworld.com.