Kuwait-based mobile telecommunications company Zain has decided to relocate its Africa regional office to Nairobi to consolidate its presence on the continent. Until now it has run its Africa operations out of Bahrain and Amsterdam. Zain, which in Africa was known as Celtel until August, currently has operations in 15 African countries and it is due to launch services in Ghana later this year.
In a related move the company has also announced the launch of ZAP, a mobile money transfer service similar to the Mpesa service offered by rival mobile telecommunications company Safaricom allowing customers to send and receive money using their mobile phones. Zain is currently finalising regulatory issues and if all goes to plan the new product will be launched by the end of this year. The service will initially be piloted in Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda before being extended to other countries in Zain