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MasterCard, AfDB to offer digital services to 100m Africans

By , ITWeb
Africa , 30 May 2024
African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina.
African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina.

MasterCard and the African Development Bank Group have formed the Mobilising Access to the Digital Economy (MADE) alliance, which aims to provide digital access to key services to 100 million Africans over the next decade.

The announcement was made on the sidelines of the United States-Africa Business Forum, which was hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce.

The Alliance will initially concentrate on assisting the agriculture industry and women.

One of the first efforts will be a pilot programme that will debut this year to help three million farmers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria by partnering with local banks to give digital identities as well as access to high-quality seeds and agricultural inputs.

The Alliance intends to grow into Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, and the rest of the continent.

MasterCard CEO Michael Miebach said: “Across Africa, people are driving new growth and opportunity, and MasterCard wants to support their success. This Alliance builds on the innovations and investments we are already making with partners in 45 countries to enhance Africa’s digital infrastructure and accelerate inclusive growth.”

As co-chairs, the African Development Bank Group will commit $300 million to support Alliance programmes, including finance for digital infrastructure and incentives for ecosystem actors to improve digital access.

MasterCard plans to register 15 million African customers on its Community Pass platform over the next five years, with interoperable digital infrastructure to encourage participation from a variety of ecosystem actors.

The partners stated that an ecosystem of public and private sector partners is crucial for enabling more individuals to participate in the digital economy.

The Alliance matches partners’ complementary strengths in key geographies to promote sustainable digital access.

Together, the partners will then deliver connectivity, skilling, employment and digital access to financial and other critical services.

More than a half-dozen organisations, including Equity Bank, Microsoft, Heifer International,, and the Syngenta Foundation, have committed to participating in the MADE Alliance: Africa at its inception.

The MADE Alliance: Africa's efforts will complement the United States' Digital Transformation with Africa Initiative and the African Union's Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa.

“Joining the Mobilising Access to the Digital Economy Alliance: Africa will amplify and multiply the impact of the Bank’s investments to build sustainable, climate-smart food systems across the continent," said African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.

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