The World Bank is tapping the expertise of former Safaricom boss Michael Joseph to advise on the expansion of mobile money programmes in member states.
Josephs, who is credited with the success of the M-Pesa programme in Kenya, is the first appointee under a new fellowship initiative at the World Bank that is designed to attract high-level experts who are globally recognised practitioners in their field.
As a 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 payments.
Johannes Zutt, World Bank country director for Kenya,comments: "Michael Joseph's participation in the World Bank fellows programme 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.
Safaricom and other mobile payment companies operating in the country continue to expand the reach with innovative new applications, including current trials to pay the salaries of 13,000 sugarcane cutters and other casual workers at the Mumias sugar company via mobile phones.