It is hard to believe it has been more than a year since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Kenya, forcing us to make many unanticipated adjustments about the way we worked.
Most significantly, we had to shift to remote working. One year down the line, I am immensely proud of our team for staying the course so far and maintaining our momentum despite the disruption of COVID-19.
This is clearly an unprecedented time. Over the past few months, the world has been battling the COVID-19 pandemic which has seen health systems burdened and unable to cope with the rising numbers of infected people.
On 30th June 2017, M-Akiba, a Kenyan government bond sold through the mobile phone, was launched.
After many years, the involvement of many partners and many iterations, M-Akiba, a Kenyan government bond sold through the mobile phone, was launched in 2017.
The rise of a new dawn in Kenya’s payments system
Eleven years after mobile money started in Kenya, a new dawn is rising – that of open and interoperable systems. Just as you can call people on any network in Kenya seamlessly, you can now send money across mobile money networks seamlessly.
FSD Kenya has been working since 2005 to promote financial inclusion in Kenya. Kenya has made huge strides during this time with over 75% of the population having access to a formal account.
This report outlines the findings from a two-year study by FSD Kenya to understand the costs for banking services in Kenya. Two rounds of mystery shopping surveys were completed in October and November of 2015 and 2016
to build a database and measure the costs for basic bundles of transactions such as opening, running and closing bank accounts.
Sending money to Africa is more expensive than anywhere else in the world, according to new research due to be published at this week’s Global Remittance Conference in New York. The report argues that existing technology – like regional automated clearing houses, remittance payment processing hubs and aggregators – could all make sending money from the UK to Africa much, much cheaper.
Pauline Kimari is a pharmacist in Ndaragwa, Kenya, a small town several hours’ drive north of Nairobi. She moved there from rural Muranga, several hours away, to open a small shop, Ndaragwa Joy Chemist. It is white with blue and green doors and a blue bench inside. She sells medicine and cosmetics.
In an effort to understand the real needs of the people, our seventh ‘Field Friday’ exercise took us to Karagita in Naivasha. We set out to gather insights on which financial services people use and which ones they trust most.
Our work on the Kenya Financial Diaries made it painfully clear to us that school fees are incredibly expensive for low income families. The lowest end public schools often ask about KSh 20,000 per year for a single student, when rural household incomes often average around KSh 6,000 per month.
I spent a week in Kenya, courtesy of Financial Sector Deepening, an initiative of a number of aid agencies, including Britain’s Department for International Development, the Swedish government, and the Gates Foundation.
Just what is finance for?
On Wednesday 8th February 2017, John Kay met with 18 financial sector industry leaders to discuss this question and the future of finance in Kenya.
Over 250 policymakers, industry players, regulators, lecturers, students, financial sector analysts, development practitioners and other guests gathered at the National Museum’s Louis Leakey Auditorium on Thursday 9th February 2017 for the 3rd FSD Kenya annual lecture on financial inclusion.
During his delivery of the 3rd FSD Kenya annual lecture on financial inclusion, John Kay argued that the challenge for emerging economies is to avoid the mistakes of the west and to instead focus on building a financial sector that is focussed on the core needs of the non-financial economy.