On Tuesday in Yaounde, we hosted the GSMA Central African Mobile Money Roundtable. This was the first regional event of its kind hosted by the GSMA, and it was designed to share information and experiences regulating mobile money with BEAC, the financial services regulator for the Economic Community of Central African States, which includes Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.
The roundtable was attended by MTN, Orange, Zain, Camtel, Citibank, Afriland First Bank, BEAC, BCEAO, Central Bank of Kenya (thanks to the support of the Alliance of Financial Inclusion), Bank of Ghana, CGAP and GSMA.
So why did we choose to host our first regional regulatory roundtable in Cameroon? If you look at our deployment tracker, its clear that East and West Africa are hotbeds of mobile money activity, but so far no deployments have been launched in Central Africa – this in spite of the fact that MTN, Orange and Zain all have strong footprints in the region. Our hope is that this will change in 2010, and if Tuesdays session was any indication, the outlook is positive.
Id like to highlight two promising themes from the day…