Zoona was awarded a prestigious continental Kalahari Award for the “Best Use of Mobile Money in Africa” at the 2014 Mobile Money Expo that was held last month in Lagos, Nigeria. This is in recognition of the innovative ways in which Zoona is using mobile money to promote financial inclusion for all and contribute to the development of the financial sector in Southern Africa. The expo whose theme was ‘Promoting financial inclusion through the use of mobile money’ was hosted by Mobile Money Africa, an organization that recognises mobile money initiatives across the continent and was the 4th annual event hosted since its inception in 2010.
Zoona is a licensed payment system operator that was established in Zambia in 2009 and has since expanded operations to Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. In 2012, Zoona raised international equity investment to the tune of K20,000,000 (twenty million kwacha rebased). In Zambia, the company has a network of more than 300 independent agents across the country that provide over the counter financial services such as money transfers, bill payment and airtime top-up to consumers using their cell phones. Through their payment platform, Zoona is also enabling over 200 Micro and Small enterprises (MSEs) to transact with their suppliers and customers electronically in an easy quick and safe way using their cell phones t helps reduce the cost of doing business in cash. Speaking at the event, Zoona Zambia managing director, Mrs Lelemba Phiri said ‘Zoona is passionate about helping businesses grow and will be the best in the world at facilitating transactions between Corporate Suppliers and Micro and Small enterprises (MSEs) in emerging markets’
On receiving the prestigious continental award, Mrs Phiri said that the award could not have come at a better time as the company is spearheading massive expansion plans to scale into the rest of Africa. She also recognized and thanked the central Bank of Zambia for their continued support and engagement as the payment systems regulator. ‘We would also like to recognize and thank our regulator, the central Bank of Zambia for being an engaged, listening and supportive regulator to payment systems and mobile money operators in Zambia. We are truly in this together and with their continued support we shall certainly change the financial landscape of Zambia to one that is supremely inclusive of everyone at different levels of society’ she said.