IBI Supports Liberia in Bringing Mobile Money to Scale
Mobile Money is gaining more significance in Liberia as a viable payment option, especially for civil servants in remote parts of the country. There are currently more than 4,000 civil servants being paid through Mobile Money, thanks to a series of initiatives supported by USAID. Under the USAID funded Governance Economic and Management Support (GEMS) project implemented by IBI from 2011 to 2016, the Civil Service Agency (CSA) and the Ministry of Finance laid the technical foundation for Mobile Money support in Liberia. The journey to achieving acceptance and adoption of Mobile Money by Liberian Government to this scale has been a long and familiar one to IBI. IBI developed the regulatory framework and initiated a pilot salary payment. Later the USAID supported Mobile Solutions Technical Assistance and Research (mSTAR) project facilitated mobile money enrollments of teachers and health workers across the country.
Liberian government institutions and civil servants now realize the significant benefits of mobile money payments and USAID is continuing to support governance innovations in this area. The USAID/Liberia Mission and the USAID Global Development Lab are partnering with IBI to provide further technical support under the Digital Liberia and e-Governance Project. IBI is working closely with the CSA and Ministry of Finance's newly created Mobile Money Unit, and mobile network operators to improve salary payment procedures, expand the mobile money network, and develop technical capacities to scale up the use of mobile money payments.
IBI looks forward to supporting Liberia as it continues to be more efficient and effective in paying civil service employees through mobile money solutions. As CSA Director for Pay, Benefits and Pensions Roland Kallon puts it, “for us mobile money is the future, it’s the most reliable way we can pay civil servants”.
Philip Pleiwon is the Mobile Money Lead for the Digital Liberia and e-Governance Project