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MPESA wins Kenya a global award

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb 17 – Kenya’s Safaricom has added another accolade to its crowded trophy cabinet after its money transfer service M-PESA bagged an international award.

M-PESA, which broke new ground when it was launched in Kenya by Safaricom in partnership with Vodafone in March 2007, was feted at the ongoing GSM Association’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain where it was named Best Mobile Money Service.

M-PESA won in a tight field of 105 nominees at the 15th Global Mobile Awards ceremony. The firm was cited for extending its pioneering money transfer service to bulk and utility bill payments. The award was received on behalf of the company by Betty Mwangi, Chief Officer, M-PESA and New Products.

Reacting to the announcement, Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph exulted in the win and congratulated the M-PESA team, saying it was a well-deserved international recognition for an innovation that had transformed millions of lives in Kenya.

“When we launched M-PESA in March 2007, it was an audacious move. We were going into uncharted territory. Today, we feel it was the right thing to do.  The growth has been phenomenal, beyond our expectations. It just goes on to prove that you can never go wrong with an innovation that provides a practical answer to customer needs,” he said.

The GSMA is the premier organisation representing the interests of the mobile telecommunications industry all over the world. Spanning 219 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world\’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organizations. 

Said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board, GSMA: "A remarkable 500 entries from across the global mobile ecosystem were submitted this year, all of an extremely high calibre and the winners should be incredibly proud of their achievements. The demand for new ways to use mobile technology continues to evolve and accelerate at a breathtaking speed, and it is genuinely inspiring to see such inventive thinking and exciting ideas showcased at Mobile World Congress."

Last year, M-PESA won the Global Mobile Awards for Best Mobile Money Service category, making this the second consecutive win and underpinning its pioneer and leadership role in this category. It also adds on to a growing list of accolades landed by Safaricom in the last one year. These included being named CEO’s Most Respected Company in East Africa.

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