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M-Pesa joins United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce

By Pavithra R

November 27, 2020

  • Africa
  • M-Pesa
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M-Pesa, a preferred mobile money provider in Africa has announced its plan to join Financial Taskforce established United for Wildlife, a coalition of charities that works to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.

Created in 2012 by The Royal Foundation, led by Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, the United for Wildlife has brought together conservation organisations, governments and global corporations to protect endangered species. Organised crime is a great threats to animals in Africa and other continents. The illegal wildlife trade is valued between US$50-US$150 bn per year and is among the most lucrative global crimes. 

“The environment remains a critical, shared communal resource and has been under threat from the illegal trade of wildlife. The future of our economy, families and children, therefore, depends on protecting our wildlife and our natural ecosystems,” said Sitoyo Lopokoyit, CEO of M-Pesa Africa.

Established in 2018 via a Declaration signed at Mansion House in London the United for Wildlife’s Financial Taskforce uses financial intelligence and resources to support law enforcement efforts to pursue the illegal wildlife trade’s greatest beneficiaries. Currently, there are 42 signatories to the Declaration including Barclays, Banco Santander Group, the City of London, Deutsche Bank, Standard Bank, HSBC Bank, and JP Morgan Chase. 

“The illegal wildlife trade is a global crisis, and financial institutions have a crucial role to play in the fight against it. United for Wildlife welcomes M-Pesa to further strengthen the links between financial institutions and law enforcement in order to combat the trafficking of illegal wildlife products,” said Lord William Hague, Chair of United for Wildlife.

“M-Pesa will play a critical role in the mission to stop the illegal wildlife trade by ensuring that there are no illegal funds going through our platform to support or to help this illegal activity,” said Sitoyo Lopokoyit.

M-Pesa is Africa’s mobile money service and the region’s largest FinTech platform. It is the preferred way to make payments across the continent both for the banked and unbanked due to its safety and convenience. It is actively used by 41.5 mn customers across 7 African countries who make over 12.2 bn transactions per annum. 

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