CBK is Polishing M-Akiba to Enhance its Appeal to Investors

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is relaunching the M-Akiba product and will go live by June this year.

All this is in an effort to entice investors to take up the product and allow them to purchase other securities.

At present, investors can purchase the bond with a minimum of KSh3,000.

CBK Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge, the monetary authority, is revamping the whole M-Akiba system so that in two months, anybody can buy specific government paper or debt instruments without going through the present complicated mechanisms.

He made these comments while presenting to the Senate Committee on Information and Communication on implementing the National Payments Strategy (NPS).

M-Akiba is defined as a retail infrastructure bond that is a product of the state, under the Treasury through CBK in partnership with the NSE, CDSC, Mobile Network Operators and the Kenya Association of Stock Brokers & Investment Banks (KASIB).

The money raised from the bond is intended to fund government infrastructural development projects, both new and ongoing, and enhance Kenyans’ savings and investment culture.

“We hope that in the next two or so months, we are expanding our processes so that a retail investor can buy Treasury bills and bonds on your mobile phone,” said Dr Njoroge.

Buying government papers is still long and complicated to average Kenyans – often requiring a physical visit to the CBK.

According to CBK figures, the M-Akiba pilot run conducted in March 2017, 102,632 people registered their mobile money accounts, and the government raised its target of KSh150 million ahead of schedule.

The full launch saw 303,534 people registered, yet the government only managed to raise KSh247 million, 24 per cent of the KSh1 billion target.

Since 2017, the government has raised KSh1 billion in five M-Akiba issuances that attracted more than 500,000 registrations.

However, in recent years, investor participation in the infrastructure bond has been muted.

CBK Governor Dr Njoroge says the relaunched M-Akiba will have more efficient know your customer mechanisms and interoperable with all payment service providers.

ALSO READ:M-Akiba Investors Receive KSh 935.9 Million Final Interest Payment

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