, NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 17- Over 300 bankers, mobile operators, regulators and players in the financial service sector are expected in to converge in Nairobi next week for the annual AITEC’s Banking & Mobile Money Conference for the COMESA region.
The conference to be held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre from 24-25 February, 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, AITEC Chairman Sean Moroney 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,” Mr Moroney said.
Mr Moroney said this year’s conference was going a step further by focusing on the COMESA region, giving participants a wider scope and market from east and southern Africa.
I think it is time we started thinking beyond the East African region given the increased trade in the COMESA region as well as keen interest in what Kenya has achieved particularly in mobile money transfer and we wanted to open it up for more countries,” he said.
He said AITEC had assembled a faculty of banking, microfinance and mobile payment experts with high levels of expertise.
Speakers from 15 countries will be sharing their knowledge with financial service professionals from throughout the COMESA region.
The event has attracted widespread industry support from the Paynet Group, Sun Microsystems and Technology Associates, Safaricom/M-PESA Copy Cat and Kenya Data Networks among others.
“The total value of sponsorship support has increased from $70,000 last year to $120,000 this year,” Mr Moroney said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to officially open the two day conference.
The event will include a specialised exhibition on products and services for the financial services sector, with over 44 exhibitors, 20 of whom are international.