The former CEO of Kenya's Safaricom, Michael Joseph has been appointed to a role at the World Bank to advise it on mobile payment services. Safaricom effectively created the market for mobile banking services when it launched the hugely successful M-PESA platform, which has been imitated in many other countries since then.
Michael Joseph is joining the bank under its new fellowship program, which was set up to tap new expertise into its development work and strengthen its knowledge network.
"I am really deeply honored to have been selected as the first fellow by the World Bank to share my knowledge and experience in mobile innovations," said Michael Joseph, former Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom. "I am delighted to work with the leading development institution and be part of the global effort to fight poverty."
As a World Bank Fellow, Joseph will provide strategic advice to the World Bank and governments beyond Africa on policy and regulatory issues to promote development of mobile banking and mobile payments.
"Sharing knowledge on telecommunications innovations, including mobile money, can make an important contribution to Africa's reform and development," said Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Kenya. "Michael Joseph's participation in the World Bank Fellows program will leverage the Bank's interventions in technology and financial services in new frontiers in line with our new Africa Strategy."
The World Bank's December 2010 Kenya Economic Update estimated that more than 21 million Kenyans have access to phones, with 15 million using mobile money services. In December 2010, mobile money services in Kenya reached a new record of almost US$1 billion in transactions.