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Mobile money government bond launching in Kenya

Kenya is launching its mobile money-exclusive government bond this week.

The country’s treasury has confirmed that the delays that have plagued the highly anticipated M-Akiba bond since it was originally revealed in September 2015 are finally over, and that it will launch imminently.

The bond is aimed at attracting retail investors to government securities by allowing payments to be made via widely used platforms such as mobile money. M-Akiba was initially billed as the first government bond scheme in the world available exclusively via mobile money platforms.

Originally, users would only have been able to make payments for the three-year bond through Safaricom’s m-Pesa, but this has been expanded to include Airtel Money. Users will receive their proof of investment via text message.

When the scheme was first announced, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich stated: “This historical development is testament of our commitment to embrace innovation to democratise the uptake of government securities.”

The government is aiming to raise KES150 million ($1.46 million) through the bonds, which will be available from 23rd March for a minimum investment of KES3000, until 10th April unless the maximum value is surpassed before this date.

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