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M-Pesa surpasses Google and Netflix in world’s most influential project ranking

Project Management Institute (PMI) has ranked M-Pesa as the 9th most influential project in the world over the last 50 years.

The mobile money service surpassed Google, Netflix and even the International Space Station.

PMI on Monday announced the top 50 notable and influential projects of the past 50 years in its list which is a first-of-its-kind ranking while highlighting how project management has helped turn these ideas into reality.

The list recognized projects that have transformed their sectors and the entire business landscape, from technology to healthcare, infrastructure to architecture, finance to entertainment.

The 12-year-old service further stood out by being recognised among the Top 50 Most Influential Projects in the last five decades.

“We are proud to be named alongside the icons in Project Management Institute (PMI) Most Influential Projects list, which celebrates transformative ideas from the past 50 years and the teams that brought them to life,” said Safaricom in a tweet on Tuesday.

A group of 400 leaders in the global project management community, including PMI chapter leaders and members, as well as academics and industry experts, considered more than 1,000 projects.

Some of the honorees include iconic achievements such as M-Pesa, Apollo 11, the Boeing 747® airplane, and the Human Genome Project, as well as under-the-radar triumphs like the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway and China’s Tengger Desert Solar Park.

“The projects we’ve identified provide incredible insights into how project management has changed, is changing, and will continue to change the world for the better,” said Sunil Prashara, President and CEO of Project Management Institute.

“This list demonstrates PMI’s vision of how excellence in project execution will be critical in meeting the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.”

In addition to the top 50 list, PMI also released the top 10 most influential projects across 14 categories in a variety of regions and industries.

To view the complete list of honorees and industry- and location-specific top 10 lists, visit

The list will also be featured in a special edition of our award-winning PM Network® print magazine.

The top ranked project is the creation of the World Wide Web.

The Top 10 Most Influential Projects

1. World Wide Web – For connecting everyone and everything.

2. Apollo 11 – For proving risk management and out-of-this-world ambitions can make the impossible possible.

3. Intel® 4004 Microprocessor – For democratizing the power of computing.

4. The Euro – For flawlessly executing the largest monetary changeover in history.

5. Human Genome Project – For rising above usual silos to unlock the building block of humanity and enable unparalleled innovations in medicine, biotech and life sciences.

6. Alibaba® Singles Day – For creating the largest e-commerce day in the world and fundamentally shifting how people shop.

7. Prius® Car – For driving the auto industry toward a more sustainable future*

8. Live Aid® Concert – For reimagining the magnitude and model of philanthropy with a major dose of celebrity.

9. M-Pesa® Mobile Microfinancing Platform– For delivering cutting-edge mobile technology that allowed Kenya to leapfrog past more advanced economies and start a banking revolution.

10. Svalbard Global Seed Vault – For building the ultimate insurance policy for the world’s food supply.
Project Management Institute (PMI) is the world’s leading association for those who consider project, program or portfolio management their profession.