M-Akiba is one of the primary projects that the government considered to undertake to spur the ICT sector in Kenya in 2016. The program was part of the Treasury Mobile Direct Programme that was made official during the reading of the 2015 annual budget. Its primary mandate was to give stockholders a platform to invest in government securities using their mobile gadgets.
The details of the project were covered here, and the program has since gone live after multiple postponements (it was supposed to be launched in March 2016, which didn’t happen. MPs made a fuss about it, and the launch was pushed to October, then to end of November. For good measure, the government put off its introduction, again).
While the project is awaiting presidential launch later this month, the treasury is considering bumping M-Akiba’s cash limit when the program’s second offer that’s valued at KES 4.85 billion makes its way to capital markets.
According to an unnamed source who conversed with The Standard, M-Akiba heads are negotiating with mobile services providers to increase the limit.
“We are talking to the telecom providers to see whether the limits can be increased,” said the source. “The tentative date is June 27, but it has to be before the elections,” the source added.
More than 100,000 stockholders have registered with M-Akiba, but the number of active investors is much lower at around 5000. What this means is that investors who opted in understand the dynamics of bond markets. It can also be argued that treasury is making such a move to increase the number of investors.
It should be noted that M-Akiba is only available Safaricom and Airtel, although rival mobile money solutions have higher limits.