The elections in Kenya were overshadowed by memories of the atrocities and violence which erupted after the disputed electoral contest in December in 2007. However the recent elections passed off relatively peacefully and the new technology hub in Nairobi called Konza Technology City is evidence of an ambitious and promising future. M-Pesa (M for Mobile and Pesa is Swahili for Money) is a mobile-phone based money transfer and micro-financing service for Safaricom and Vodacom, the largest mobile network operators in Kenya and Tanzania.
Before the launch of M-Pesa, the traditional banking system was accessed by only a fraction of Kenya’s population, whereas now M-Pesa has more than 40,000 agents nationwide and more than 60% of the adult population has an account.
M-Pesa, allowing for the free flow of money in Kenya and Tanzania, is another example of Mobile access acting as a tool of empowerment and financial freedom for people in the developing world. Its extraordinary success has become synonymous with the Mobile revolution in Africa, and long may its journey continue on this incredible continent.