M-Pesa founders brace for Africa medal of honour


The 3rd Digital Impact Awards Africa (DIAA2016) will present “Africa’s Financial Inclusion Medal of Honor” Award to; Mr. Michael   Joseph, the Managing Director of Mobile Money at Vodafone and previously, the CEO of Safaricom Limited, Mr. Nick Hughes Co-Founder M-KOPA and previously Head of Mobile Payment Solutions at Vodafone and Ms. Susie Lonie Mobile Payments Consultant at SJL Consulting Services Ltd.

The Medal of Honour that will be presented at Serena Kampala Hotel on August 17th 2016 is an appreciation of the trio’s contribution to Financial Inclusion in Africa and the rest of the world.

The three are heroes of the Mobile Money innovation that has echoed in a new financial sector.

In 2003, Nick Hughes who was then Head of Social Enterprise at Vodafone spearheaded sourcing finance for a project with the initial research idea and purpose to use mobile phones to pay microfinance loans in Africa which project is the root of M-PESA.

Susie Lonie, also from Vodafone was in 2005 sent to Nairobi to get the M-PESA pilot up and running. Susie together with Nick steered the system from a pilot to commercial launch.

When the system went live in 2007, the CEO of Safaricom, Michael Joseph, drove the teams to scale and deliver the commercial and social growth of M-PESA driving the models for agent recruiting, incentives, float management.

In 2008 M-PESA reached five million subscribers more than all of Kenya’s commercial banks combined back then thereby demonstrating convincingly that mobile money would drive faster financial inclusion.

Mobile Money was then introduced across several African countries. As of 2015, Mobile money is now available in 93 countries via 271 services globally. The number of registered mobile money accounts is reaching a total of 411 million globally. Nearly 100 million new accounts were opened in 2015, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

“In light of their contributions to mobile money innovation, #DIAA2016 jury found it noble to present “Africa’s Financial Inclusion Medal of Honour”  to Mr. Michael   Joseph, Mr. Nick Hughes and Ms. Susie Lonie,” noted Innocent Kawooya, CEO of HiPipo.

Adding “Africa has witnessed very fast growth in financial inclusion as a result of the M-PESA innovation which the three noble medal winners natured during the last decade.

As of 2016, a new financial sector is alive with a growing relationship between the telecommunications operators and banks.”

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