M-Pesa pioneer Michael Joseph joins MFS Africa
Pan-African FinTech firm MFS Africa has announced that Michael Joseph (pictured) has joined its board as an independent non-executive director. Michael served as CEO of Safaricom in Kenya from 2000 to 2010, and is widely credited with spearheading M-Pesa, the world’s most successful mobile money service.
Michael will help MFS Africa CEO Dare Okoudjou and the board to strengthen relationships with mobile network operators, money transfer organisations, banks and other financial institutions across Africa. He will engage with regulators, development organisations, and other relevant stakeholders to advocate an open and inclusive cross-border digital payments infrastructure. Michael's role will also extend to corporate governance and the strategic direction of the company.
"There are over a billion mobile phone users in Africa and only one in ten are using mobile financial services. Despite the success of in-country schemes, consumers are increasingly demanding further ways to transact across networks and across borders. If we're to create the "network effect" needed to drive financial inclusion and build a strong digital economy across the continent, new solutions need to be found," said Michael.
"By connecting to 120 million mobile wallets - 75 per cent of all mobile wallets in Africa - and enabling cross border and cross network financial services, MFS Africa is helping to solve the industry's biggest challenge. It's an issue that's close to my heart and I leapt at the opportunity to be part of the solution."
"Michael's the father of mobile money. His experience in making M-Pesa a near-ubiquitous service in Kenya and in many other Vodafone markets has helped create a rich ecosystem, rapidly and at scale, which will be invaluable to MFS Africa's growth," said Dare. "Taking the lessons learned from M-Pesa and applying them across the entire region will help us achieve our mission: scaling mobile financial services so they serve the millions of un- and under- banked people across Africa."
Since 2011, Michael has been the director of mobile money at Vodafone Group and also serves on the Boards of Vodacom Group South Africa, Vodacom Tanzania, Vodacom Mozambique and Safaricom Limited in Kenya. In 2011 he was appointed as the first fellow of the World Bank to drive expansion and uptake of mobile money services across member states. Last year, Michael was appointed chairman of Kenya Airways.