21 April 2017
M-Pesa pioneer Michael Joseph joins Board of MFS Africa
MFS Africa, a leading Pan-African fintech company, today announces that Michael Joseph has joined its Board of Directors 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.
As Non-Executive Director, Michael will help MFS Africa CEO Dare Okoudjou and the Board of Directors 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 Joseph, Head of Mobile Money at Vodafone and Non-Executive Director at MFS Africa.
“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 Okoudjou, CEO of MFS Africa. “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 Joseph was appointed Chairman of Kenya Airways.
Virgin Mobile appoints new Middle East & Africa CEO
Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa (VMMEA) has announced the appointment of Alan Gow as the Group CEO, to further bolster the existing management team.
Gow is the co-founder of the original Virgin Mobile in the UK alongside Sir Richard Branson, and an architect of the company’s economic model as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
He will be based at the group’s regional HQ in Dubai, UAE.
“The Middle East and Africa region is entering an exciting phase in its evolution, and I look forward to working with this highly talented team as we pursue a strategy of digital transformation, and drive the launch of innovative products and services that put our people and customer experience at the heart of everything we do,” said Gow.
Gow has over 20 years of experience in mobile telecoms in both the Mobile Network Operator (MNO) and MVNO sectors, having previously worked with the network operator T-Mobile in the UK.
He holds an MBA with distinction from Manchester Business School and is a member of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Mikkel Vinter remains in post as founder and director for Virgin Mobile Middle East and Africa.