The 6th edition of the AITEC Banking & Mobile Money COMESA conference will be held at the KICC over 7th to 8th March.  This is a premier convention for senior bankers and this year it is coming at a time when bankers in the region are faced with a multiplicity of challenges.

AITEC AFRICA Chairman Sean Moroney

Continuing war and piracy in Somalia creates huge concerns of money laundering and the vigilance of senior bankers regarding the integrity of their operations is so relevant now more than ever.

There is an explosion of reverse IT engineering leading to ATM fraud; and there is an increasing incidence of financial crimes perpetuated by the hacking of bank systems. Many other technology-assisted heists are reversing gains made by banks and microfinance institutions in the EAC and COMESA regions on the adoption of technology.

The dynamics in banking practice are also changing. Senior bankers now have to review regulations, act on calls for inclusion, respond to changes in preference for payment platforms, and analyse technology and emerging innovations. All these must be done to ensure we have a stable, mature yet expanding and dynamic banking industry.

The inaugural AITEC Banking & Mobile Money COMESA conference in 2006 and our preceding Banking Technology conferences from 2001, were focussed on encouraging banks to adopt banking and mobile money technologies.

We flew in experts on banking technology, banking regulators and persons of wide knowledge and experience who championed banking innovation in other continents to speak, relate and network with local bankers towards the accomplishment.

Banks have since recognised the value of banking technologies in increasing their reach, lowering cost of transactions and reduction of costs of operation. The shift now is in securing the gains made.  As such, our theme for the 6th edition is  “Showcasing the region’s banking and mobile payments innovations successes” and will be  about banks and developers in the region showcasing the gains they have made, in ensuring financial inclusion, in ensuring interoperability for seamless banking , building channels for SMEs and developing banking products for agriculture.

We will also have workshops and masterclasses on banking security, information security and anti-money laundering, and Mobile banking security to help senior bankers acquire education and new skills to interrogate and counter present challenges.

The participation of international association such as the International ATM Association (ATMI) and Global Anti-Money Laundering Network shows the significant force of knowledge sharing to expect.

With over 70 widely acknowledged experts speakers drawn from across the continent, from USA to Ghana, South Africa to Dubai, UK to India, Egypt to Zimbabwe , Nairobi to Switzerland,  there will be immense knowledge for not just the regional banker but also the consumer.

This is why we are delighted to have Barclays as a partner at this year’s AITEC Banking & Mobile Money COMESA Conference. After a review of the conference program, Barclays Bank saw the educational value of the event and developed a unique way of supporting public education: the support for the Media Centre.  This means that local and international media practitioners will be facilitated in a unique way during the conference to support their reporting.

Financial services have become so dominant in the world economy today that it is vital for all citizens to be well informed about the way they impact their lives – and the media have a vital role to play in this process.

We believe our annual conference has an important role to play in informing and educating the financial services sector and through the media the wider business community. That is why we appreciate the proactive approach Barclays is taking by hosting a media workshop the day before the conference to brief business journalists on the key issues to be covered in the conference.

I’d like to welcome Business Media professionals to the 6th AITEC Banking & Mobile Money COMESA conference on 7-8 March. Further, I’d like to thank Barclays for their support and we look forward to working with them in this and future conferences to maximise the positive impact they have in the economic development of Kenya and the region.

Asante sana.

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