By Amina Faki
Michael Joseph the former Safaricom Chief Executive has joined the board of South African financial technology firm MFS Africa as an independent non-executive director.
Mr. Joseph is set to strengthen relationships with mobile network operators, money transfer organizations, banks and other financial institutions across Africa, said MFS Africa.
MFS in a statement said that he will engage with regulators, development organizations, 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.
The Johannesburg-based MFS Africa says its mobile financial services hub is now connected to 120 million mobile wallets in sub-Saharan Africa.
The company, set up by former MTN executive Dare Okoudjou, says it has partnerships with a number of mobile operators including Airtel, Econet, MTN, Orange, Millicom’s Tigo and Vodafone.
Mr. Okoudjou said the firm would bank on Mr. Joseph’s experience to steer the company to continental growth.
Mr. Okoudjou added that 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.
Putting into consideration 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
According to Mr. Joseph, 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.
He added that 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