Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, will open AITEC’s annual Banking & Mobile Money Conference for the COMESA region, to be held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre over 24-25 February. Also speaking in the opening session will be Professor Njuguna Ndung’u, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya.
The conference will play an important role in reinforcing Nairobi’s role as the region’s financial services centre, and the theme “Leadership through Innovation” reflects the country’s leadership position in mobile banking. Announcing the conference, Sean Moroney, Chairman of AITEC, said the event is an important platform to showcase the exciting mobile payments innovations currently being implemented in Africa. “When we started this conference series four years ago, the emphasis was on East Africa learning from the rest of the world, now bankers, mobile operators and others wanting to learn about mobile banking will be coming to Nairobi to learn from innovators in the region.”
The conference has widespread industry support, with the Paynet Group as platinum sponsor, Simba Technology and Technology Associates as gold sponsors and S1 as silver sponsor. Supporting Organisations for the event include the Kenya Bankers Association, the Consultative Group for Advancing the Poor (CGAP) and the Kenya ICT Board. CGAP is holding a workshop on management systems for microfinance institutions, linked to the conference. The Gates Foundation will hold a breakfast briefing for bank CXOs during the conference on providing banking services for the unbanked.
The conference will have 19 specialised sessions over the two days, with over 70 speakers. “We are assembling a faculty of banking, microfinance and mobile payment experts with an unparalleled level of expertise. Speakers from 14 countries will be sharing their knowledge with financial service professionals from throughout the COMESA region.” Session topics range from “Compliance and risk management in the post-meltdown world” to “Interbank payment reforms – new transaction and settlement systems”.
Keynote speakers include Cormac Petit, Banking Industry Leader at the IBM Institute for Business Value in Netherlands who will speak on “Fit, focused and ready to fight: How banks can get in shape for the battle ahead” and Bernard Matthewman, CEO of the Paynet Group, who has a provocative presentation title, “Shh, the market is talking. Listen and act!” Dr Keith Jefferis, Economic Advisor, USAID Southern African Trade Hub, Botswana and former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of Botswana, will speak on “Product innovation and access to finance”.
The event will include a specialised exhibition on products and services for the financial services sector, with over 40 local and international exhibitors.