Pan-African fintech firm MFS Africa, has appointed Michael Joseph to its Board of Directors as an independent Non-Executive Director in order to help the firm strengthen relationships with mobile network operators, money transfer organisations, banks and other financial institutions across Africa.

Michael served as CEO of Safaricom in Kenya from 2000 to 2010, and is widely credited with spearheading M-Pesa, the world’s most successful mobile money service. His new role will see him engage with regulators, development organisations, and other relevant stakeholders to advocate an open and inclusive cross-border digital payments infrastructure and as well give the firm corporate governance and guide its strategic direction.

According to Dare Okoudjou, CEO of MFS Africa, “Michael’s the father of mobile money. His experience in making M-Pesa a near-ubiquitous service in Kenya and in many other Vodafone markets has helped create a rich ecosystem, rapidly and at scale, which will be invaluable to MFS Africa’s growth,” said . “Taking the lessons learned from M-Pesa and applying them across the entire region will help us achieve our mission: scaling mobile financial services so they serve the millions of un- and under- banked people across Africa.”

Since 2011, Michael has been the Director of Mobile Money at Vodafone Group and also serves on the Boards of Vodacom Group South Africa, Vodacom Tanzania, Vodacom Mozambique and Safaricom Limited in Kenya. In 2011 he was appointed as the first fellow of the World Bank to drive expansion and uptake of mobile money services across member states. Last year, Michael Joseph was appointed Chairman of Kenya Airways.

Last year, MFS Africa said it was connected to 120 million mobile wallets in Sub-Saharan Africa through partnerships with mobile network operators including Airtel, Econet, MTN, Orange, Tigo and Vodafone. It’s MFS Hub scales transactions across networks and borders to create greater value for customers and service providers, support regional and international trade, and boost financial inclusion.

“There are over a billion mobile phone users in Africa and only one in ten are using mobile financial services,” said Michael. “Despite the success of in-country schemes, consumers are increasingly demanding further ways to transact across networks and across borders. If we’re to create the “network effect” needed to drive financial inclusion and build a strong digital economy across the continent, new solutions need to be found,”

By joining MFS Africa, Michael aims to help the firm connect to more mobile wallets in Africa as well as help it achieve its financial inclusion objectives on the continent.