Dare Okoudjou

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Dare Okoudjou
African Innovator Dare Okoudjou.jpg
Dare Okoudjou at an interview by Forbes Africa. Picture: Forbes Africa.
Born1976 (age 44–45)
Benin
NationalityBenin
Alma materTelecom ParisTech, Insead Business School
OccupationCEO MFS Africa
Known forFounding MFS Africa
WebsiteLinkedIn Profile

Editor: Charissa Cassels

Dare Okoudjou is the founder and CEO of MFS Africa, a leading Pan-African FinTech company, operating the largest digital payments hub on the continent. MFS Africa Limited provides mobile financial solutions. The Company offers remittance, money transfer, micro-lending, insurance, and payment services. [1]

Okoudjou gained popularity for the development of the MTN Group’s mobile payment strategy. Named one of the world’s most innovative companies by Fast Company in 2017,[2] Okoudjou’s successful formation of MFS Africa has established him as a leading entrepreneur in African Innovation.

Okoudjou is a keynote speaker at various technology and economic conferences, both on the continent and internationally.[3]

Okoudjou says he is inspired by two things. These are the incredible innovation and potential coming from Africa, and the transformative power of technology. [4]

His most recent appearances have included topics on mobile money growth and achieving scale; financial inclusion and responsible mobile financial services; the digitisation of financial services on the continent; FinTech investments; and overall fintech entrepreneurship in Africa.[5]

History

Okoudjou was born in July 1976. His father was a teacher and his mother a nurse. He was born and raised in Benin, West Africa.[6]

Okoudjou graduated his high school cum lade and went on to complete an engineering scholarship in Morocco.[7]

Okoudjou studied Master of Science in Electrical Engineering in Telecommunications at Telecom ParisTech (France) from 1996 to 1999 and in 2005, he completed his Master of Business Administration at Insead Business School (France).[8]

Upon completing his Master’s, Okoudjou embarked on a six-month internship in New York City (1998). It was there that he made the decision to redirect his career aspirations to Africa, and not the United States. [9]

At the height of the late-nineties dotcom boom, Okoudjou accepted a position as a telecommunications consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Paris. His first assignment was to facilitate the launch of a mobile network in Morocco. Okoudjou credits the fortuitous environment at PwC which connected his understanding of technology and his responsibility towards the larger community.[10]

He worked in Morocco, France, and finally the U.S., where he worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers in telecom consulting and was part of a team that launched the prepaid option for a Moroccan mobile network.[11]

Okoudjou worked at MTN Group in Johannesburg (South Africa), after obtaining his MBA, where he developed its mobile payment strategy and led its implementation across the company’s operations in 21 countries throughout Africa and the Middle East.[12]

The innovative technology of a single Application Programming Interface (API) was developed by Okoudjou in partnership with WorldRemit in July 2019.[13] Through a single API, MFS Africa connects mobile wallet systems, banks, money transfer operators, and merchants to enable real-time, cross-border and cross-network transactions.

Achievements

In 2008, Okoudjou raised $500,000 easily in six months to start Mobile Financial Services Africa.[14]

In April 2008, Okoudjou directed a phenomenal Series B funding round in which Venture Capital invested $2.5-million in the digital payments company (MFS Africa).[15]

In June 2008, Okoudjou was chosen as one of the Insead Alumni Association to attend the iW50 Event and Launch of South Africa Country Book.[16]

In 2012, Okoudjou announced the launch of their joint remittance service Orange Money Transfert International (OMTI) with Orange Madagascar.[17]

In 2018, Okoudjou secured $3.2 million worth of investments from FSD Africa Investments in 2018.[18]

In 2020, Okoudjou will be one of the panel as a moderator at the Investing in Africa Seminar in London.[19]

References

  1. [https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/person/20891058 Dare Okoudjou CEO/Founder, MFS Africa Ltd - Bloomberg. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.]
  2. MFS Africa Most Innovative Companies - Fast Company. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  3. Investing in Africa Conference – AFSIC. Retrieved 8 – 10 May, 2019.
  4. [http://www.africanreview.com/ict/banking-software/revolutionising-digital-payments-mf Revolutionising digital payments: MFS Africa - African Review. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.]
  5. Dare Okoudjou - AFSIC. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.
  6. Mr. Dare Atekou Okoudjou - Suite Endole. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.
  7. Interview - Forbes Africa. Retrieved 1 July, 2015.
  8. Dare Okoudjou's Email - Rocketreach. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.
  9. “I Could Hear My Children Crying” - Forbes Africa. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.
  10. "I could hear children crying" - Forbes Africa. Retrieved 1 July, 2015.
  11. `I Needed to See a Change in the World’: Dare Okoudjou on Founding MFS Africa - Medium. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.
  12. Overview - Crunchbase. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.
  13. New mobile-to-mobile digital payment service launched in Africa - Bizcommunity. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.
  14. "I Could Hear My Children Crying” - Forbes Africa. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.
  15. How MFS Africa made history for African fintechs with $4.5m Chinese-led deal - Ventureburn. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.
  16. iW50 Event and Launch of South Africa Country Book - Blog Insead. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.
  17. MFS Africa At The Forefront Of Financial Innovation - Global Banking and Financial Review. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.
  18. FSD Africa invests $3.2 million in two African fintech firms operating in Nigeria - Nairametrics. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.
  19. Panel: Fintech investment opportunities beyond the payment solution - AFSIC. Retrieved 20 April, 2020.