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Orange and MTN launch pan-African mobile money interoperability

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Two of Africa’s largest mobile operators and mobile money providers, Orange Group  and MTN Group, today announced a joint venture, Mowali (mobile wallet interoperability), to enable interoperable payments across the continent. Mowali makes it possible to send money between mobile money accounts issued by any mobile money provider, in real time and at low cost.

Mowali will immediately benefit from the reach of MTN Mobile Money and Orange Money , bringing together over 100 million mobile money accounts and mobile money operations in 22 of sub-Saharan Africa’s 46 markets. Mowali is ready to enable interoperability between digital financial service providers beyond MTN and Orange operations and markets, to support the existing 338 million mobile money accounts in Africa.

Mowali is a digital payment infrastructure that connects financial service providers and customers in one inclusive network. It functions as an industry utility, open to any mobile money provider in Africa, including banks, money transfer operators and other financial service providers.

The objective of Mowali is to increase the usage of mobile money by consumers and merchants.  Mowali enables money to circulate freely between mobile money accounts from any operators in all countries. From the customer’s point of view, this means “I can pay or receive money anywhere from my mobile account regardless of my operator”. The system will unlock further innovation in the digital financial space within the continent.

For Stéphane Richard, Chairman & CEO of Orange, “by providing full interoperability between platforms, Mowali will provide an important step forward that will allow mobile money to become a universal means of payment in Africa. Increasing financial inclusion through the use of digital technology is an essential element in furthering the economic development of Africa, particularly for more isolated communities. This solution embodies Orange’s ambition to be a leading player in the digital transformation of the continent. By joining forces with another of Africa’s market leaders, MTN, we aim to accelerate the pace

of this transformation in a way that will change the lives of our customers by providing them with simpler, safer and more advantageous services. “

“One of MTN’s goals is to accelerate the penetration of mobile financial service in Africa, Mowali is one such vehicle that will help us achieve that objective. Furthermore, co-operation and partnerships that help us accelerate the pace of development and overcome some of the scale, scope and complexity of challenges that society faces are key. This partnership with Orange is therefore an important step in helping us play a meaningful role in supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals related to eliminating extreme poverty and enhancing socio-economic development in the markets we operate in and beyond. Thus giving our customers access to a bright, digital future.” said Rob Shuter, Group President and CEO of MTN.

The GSMA supports the Mowali initiative as interoperability at this scale is a key accelerator for both financial inclusion and Mobile Money usability across Africa.

“Today, there are over 690 million mobile money accounts around the world. Mobile money services have become an essential, life-changing tool across Africa, providing access to safe and secure financial services but also to energy, health, education and employment opportunities. The creation of Mowali will help to further transform mobile financial services throughout the African region. It demonstrates the mobile industry’s continued leadership and commitment to driving financial inclusion and economic empowerment through industry collaboration. The GSMA is proud to support its development,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA.

“Interoperability of digital payments has been the toughest hurdle for the financial services industry to overcome, in support of financial inclusion. With Mowali, Orange and MTN deliver a solution that will enable them, and other companies, to scale digital financial services across Africa, faster, to everyone—including the poor,” said Kosta Peric, deputy director of Financial Services for the Poor, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “This is a signal that a new wave of innovation, which can help alleviate poverty and drive economic opportunity, is coming. We’re pleased to see an implementation of Mojaloop—an open source payment platform available to operators across the sector—help achieve that.”

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UBA Rewards 20 more Customers with N30m in Wise Savers Promo

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United Bank for Africa (UBA) has rewarded another 20 customers who emerged winners in the second quarterly draw of the UBA Wise Savers Promo with N1.5 million each, bringing the total amount won by 40 customers so far to N60 million.

The electronic raffle draw which was held at UBA House on Thursday 18th of April, was witnessed by the Consumer Protection Council, National Lottery Regulatory Commission and Lagos State Lottery, Board.

Lucky winners who emerged in the second edition, cut across all regions of the country. They include Alli Abiodun Ganiu, Tari E Francis; Onah Joseph, Okwandu Faith Ezinne, Igwedinma Chiedozie Onyekachi, Mgbakor Edmund Eke, Nwokoye Adeseye Ifeanyichukwu and Achi Sheyin Micheal.

Others are Onyekwuluje Christiana Osho; Ibilola U Okeke; Amos Luka, Mukhtar Halima, Musa Abubakar, Olanrewaju Kolade David; Okongwu Hillary Chidinma; Loretta O Okodua; Adeyemo Biodun Adeola; Oyewusi Oyeyinka Abidemi;  Adeola O Adewumi and Anyanwu Vivian.

The promo, which commenced in September last year is expected to run till September 30, 2019, and will see another 40 customers from across Nigeria become millionaires, winning N60 million in the remaining quarters of the year. At the end of the promo, a total of N120 million will have been won by 80 customers.

Speaking during the event, UBA’s Executive Director, Ayo Liadi, expressed satisfaction at the level of response received from customers across the country, adding that the campaign was targeted at rewarding loyal customers and also inculcating in them the habit of saving regularly.

He noted that there was a remarkable increase in the number of participants in this edition compared to the previous one, adding that the bank’s objective of helping customers’ save for the rainy day is being achieved.

He said: “It is very easy to spend money but to save is a habit all must imbibe. Our key objective is to encourage our customers to save regularly. We are here to support our customers and to encourage them to save as well.”

Ayo Liadi urged other customers to take advantage of the subsequent opportunities the remaining two quarterly draws offer.

According to Liadi: “There is no better time to give back and delight customers than this challenging economic period where people need all the support they can get to make life more meaningful. With this in mind we decided to prioritise our customers as we always do at UBA by giving them plenty to cheer about and that is the reason why another 20 more customers have been made millionaires today”.

“During the recent cheque presentation to the first quarter lucky winners, I watched with bated breath how happy and elated each of the winners became. You could easily see the joy and happiness in their eyes indicating that the N1.5m would make a huge impact in their lives. That in itself will spur us to do more in fulfilling their dreams” he said.

 

 

Head Retail Liabilities, Tomiwa Sotiloye, while explaining that the promo was consistent with the bank’s novel initiatives in prioritizing customers, said that it was necessitated by the invaluable belief the Bank has in its customers. “We will continue to listen and give them nothing short of the best that they deserve. UBA will not relent, because we are impressed with the impact this has made so far and will continue to touch the lives of our loyal customers positively”. Sotiloye noted.

The criteria for qualifying for the draw is to save at least N30,000 in your UBA savings account or in instalments of N10,000 each for a period of three months. Those yet to be UBA customers can open a savings account on any of our numerous bank channels including Magic Banking (*919*20#) and LEO, or in any of the UBA branches across the country, and start saving.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading pan-African financial services group, operating in 20 African countries, as well as the United Kingdom, the United States of America and with presence in France.

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FBN Holdings Carrts Away World Finance Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award

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By Segun Lawal
FBN Holdings Plc has won the 2019 Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria Award organized by World Finance; the leading financial services group announced today.
The award ceremony was held recently in London Stock Exchange studio by World Finance, renowned for its comprehensive coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and global economy.
The annual event is usually organised against a backdrop of a comprehensive analysis of the very best across various areas of business endeavours in each market around the world.

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UK Eke, Group Managing Director, FBN Holdings Plc receiving the Best Corporate Governance in Nigeria award on behalf of FBNHoldings from Paul Richardson, Producer, World Finance at the World Finance Awards 2019 held in London Stock Exchange Studio, London recently.

Elated to receive the award on behalf of FBNHoldings, UK Eke, Group Managing Director of the finance house said; “receiving this award from World Finance basically tells us two things. One: it’s an affirmation of what we are doing in corporate governance, beyond the giant strides we’re making in financial performance. So we see this as an endorsement of the brand, and it’s a bragging right for us. Because again, there are very few institutions in Nigeria that have benefited from this award. We are truly proud to receive this award.”

Since 2007, World Finance has been celebrating corporate achievement, innovation and brilliance in their annual awards.

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Tony Elumelu Foundation Hosts European Commission, Leading Development Finance Institutions and Think Tanks in Brussels

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At a time when Europe’s relationship with Africa is high on foreign policy and developmental agendas and with the European Union beginning to deliver on its 2017 External Investment Plan, targeted at attracting investment and job creation in Africa, the Tony Elumelu Foundation brought together leading stakeholders in the development finance sector, at a case study session in the EU capital, Belgium. The convening demonstrated that Africa also had solutions to bring to the table and platformed the Foundation’s unique approach to catalysing entrepreneurship in scale across the continent.

Themed “A Convening on Africa’s Economic Transformation: A Case Study of the Tony Elumelu Foundation”, the event presented the results of the first five years of the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Programme a unique programme, which has trained, mentored and seeded 4,470 African entrepreneurs with 3,050 newly announced to receive seed funding, and drawn over 200,000 applications to its 2019 cycle. Tony Elumelu’s $100m investment in entrepreneurial philanthropy was held up as an example of how vital capital could be targeted efficiently and effectively, at African businesses best able to create significant economic and developmental impact.

Opening the event, Mr. Koen Doens, Deputy Director General, DEVCO, EU, said: “Africa needs to create jobs by the millions to match the needs of its exponentially growing population. It will achieve this only if it unleashes a generation of empowered entrepreneurs. The Tony Elumelu Foundation contributes to this massively. The European Union wants to play its part and contribute to this endeavour.”

During an indepth question and answer session with EU-Africa relations expert, Annie Mutamba, Founder, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu CON, highlighted the growing interest in the Tony Elumelu Foundation and its unique approach, while welcoming a new type of intervention in Africa. “We very much believe in collaboration, mutual respect and a shared commitment to transform Africa. Africa is ready but we need to do this through the right sustainable manner, that enables our people to become self-reliant, and independent, instead of perpetuating dependency. We need to implement practical solutions on ground through entrepreneurship, which empower people economically and addresses issues of extremism, migration, and insecurity.”

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L-R: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Former Prime Minister of Benin, HE Lionel Zinsou; Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post; and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Minister Phillippe De Backer, Minister for Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Post, Belgium, also commented: “There is an increasing desire in Europe to engage Africa, including its grassroots in a structure and targeted approach with the right processes. The Tony Elumelu Foundation offers this platform.”

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, which last month in March announced 3,050 selected entrepreneurs for its 2019 cycle, continues to grow in scale, ambition and impact, and now actively leverages technology to support entrepreneurs through TEF Connect – a digital hub designed to link entrepreneurs across Africa, and which already has 500,000 users.

On the Foundation’s future plans, he stated: “We want to make sure that we impact more, reach more, touch more lives and get more women involved. We want to see more Northern Africa participation. We would like to reach 10,000 a year, with support from partners to empower additional entrepreneurs. We want to eradicate poverty and create wealth in a sustainable way. Ultimately, \we want a larger and broader entrepreneurship ecosystem, that supports young Africans, and we want to deepen our engagement with government to create the enabling environment to support these Africans to succeed – the right investment climate, training, education, access to capital and most importantly creating the right investment culture.”

Other dignitaries at the event included: Carl Michiels, Director, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM); Bruno Wenn, Former CEO/Chairman at DEG-German Investment and Development Company, and Advisory Board Member, Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mr Viwanou Gnanssougou, Assistant Secretary General, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) at the European Council of the European Union, and Ifeyinwa Ugochukwu, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

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