Isn’t it time to reboot our thinking on Policy and Regulation to fit the current global situation?
This story in Forbes just made me realize one fundamental flow in our thinking regarding the regulatory environment we live in today. Should we not totally re-invent the environment to suit the circumstances? Why should we let the FCC trail-blaze in Regulation? What do they know about mobile innovation and regulation? Why are we abdicating our global responsibility from a regulatory perspective when we lead the world in mobile innovation?
The world remittance market is $550b. What market share does Mpesa have? Let’s not wallow in the hype and really make it happen. Today one in every three humans who use mobile money is a Kenyan. How does this translate to market share in this global stage. How many Indians/Chinese/Nigerians use Mpesa to remit money back home? That’s the playground we must play in. After all isn’t Kenya ground zero for all things mobile innovation?
Instead of trying to stifle local based companies let’s give them the boost they require to become truly global.
Here’s what I think should happen. (Forgive me for being presumptive) but The Govt should cultivate BFF Status (my daughter tells me BFF means Best Friends Forever) with the likes of Mpesa, Mode, Cellulant, Pesapal, Jambo Pay, CopyCat, Seven Seas etc and present them as African Champions at every possible regional and Global event. Our very Economic Diplomacy should be anchored in this thinking. If my history serves me right that’s how the Japanese Global Giants were borne. Through a truly PPP & Multi-Stakeholder Model (yes that word again..) Japanese industry became the world beaters they are today. For more on this it would be instructive to read the history of MITI.
Our folly is in thinking that private sector and government are mutually exclusive and that an adversarial stance is best to protect consumers. Let’s expand the pie. There is no reason that Mpesa cannot become the de-facto mobile money system across Africa. For this to happen it would require not thinking out of the box – but reinventing the box. Literally.
As Bob Collymore, Safaricom’s CEO aptly put it – Being dominant is not a crime.