Kenya’s long-awaited government bond sold exclusively through mobile money platforms is set to go live this week, the country’s treasury confirmed.
The M-Akiba bond, first unveiled in September 2015 before numerous delays, is an attempt by the treasury to increase the appeal of government securities to retail investors by using platforms commonly used by the country’s citizens.
At the time, the scheme was promoted as the world’s first government bond scheme to be offered exclusively through mobile money platforms and was initially only going to be sold through Safaricom’s m-Pesa platform.
However, payments for the three-year bond will now be available using mobile money platforms from both Safaricom and Airtel, with proof of investment provided by text message.
The Government will look to make KES150 million ($1.46 million) from the bonds, which are available for a minimum investment of KES3,000.
Speaking at the scheme’s original unveiling, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said: “This historical development is testament of our commitment to embrace innovation to democratise the uptake of government securities.”
After a number of aborted launch attempts, the bonds will go on sale from 23 March until either the maximum value is reached, or 10 April if the total is not raised before.