May 19, 2020

MTN and Ecobank partner to improve access to mobile financial services

Banking
MTN
Money Transfers
telecommunicatoins
Bizclik Editor
2 min
MTN and Ecobank partner to improve access to mobile financial services

MTN Mobile Money users, who are also Ecobank customers in 12 African countries, will soon be able to withdraw cash from Ecobank ATMs.

They will also be able to transfer money between their Mobile Money and Ecobank accounts. 

The service was piloted in Ghana last month, and will soon be launched in Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, the Republic of Guinea, Liberia, Congo Brazzaville, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and Zambia.

Telecommunications company MTN and banking group Ecobank have partnered to improve access to mobile financial services in the African continent.

Both pan-African multi-nationals have vast experience in extending financial services in several of their markets, with MTN’s Mobile Money registered subscriber base growing 57.3 percent to 14.8 million in 2013.

Pieter Verkade, MTN Group Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are extending our co-operation in Africa to expand the range of services provided, as well as to further explore the development of mobile financial services in these countries.

“MTN is particularly excited by this agreement as it fits in perfectly with our on-going efforts to improve access to financial services for our customers and broader communities in the countries where we operate.”

 MTN and Ecobank are also looking to partner in developing a unique mobile savings offering within their countries of mutual presence. 

Patrick Akinwuntan, Ecobank’s Group Executive Director for Domestic Banking, said: “This roll-out further demonstrates our commitment to make branchless banking a reality by activating multiple service channels in every country in which we operate. 

“Our unique pan-African footprint will also enable us to be at the forefront of developing the market for cross-border mobile money services in Africa.”

The collaboration with Ecobank forms part of MTN’s renewed focus to deliver a distinct customer experience by providing value-added products and services.

MTN Mobile Money enables users to perform local and international money transfers, make utility and other service payments, purchase airtime and access range of mobile financial products.

As of 31 December 2013, MTN Mobile Money had 14.8 million registered users, and was available in 14 countries.

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Jun 11, 2021

G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve

G7
Sustainability
G7Summit
EU
3 min
Business Chief delves into what the G7 is and represents and what its 2021 summit hopes to achieve, in terms of sustainability and global trade

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration. 

 

Who are the G7?

The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like. 

The merry band comprises:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • The United Kingdom
  • The United States

Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.

 

Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda. 

 

When was the ‘G’ formed?

Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s. 

 

Why does the G7 exist?

At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted. 

 

The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability. 

 

It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations. 

 

Where is the 2021 G7 summit?

This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall. 
 

What will be discussed this year? 

After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”

 

The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values. 

 

According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.” 

 

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