Mastercard accelerates its commitment to digital transformation in Africa

Mastercard accelerates its commitment to digital transformation in Africa

Press release

May 24, 2024 | Purchase, New York

New alliance aims to enable digital access to 100 million people and businesses in Africa over the next decade

Mastercard and the African Development Bank Group today launched the Alliance Mobilizing Access to the Digital Economy (MADE): Africa expand digital access to critical services to 100 million people and businesses in Africa over the next 10 years. The announcement was made on the sidelines of the United States-Africa Business Forum organized by the United States Chamber of Commerce.

The Alliance will initially focus on supporting the agricultural sector and women. Among the first efforts will be a pilot program launching this year to support three million farmers in Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria by working with local banks to provide digital identities and access to high-quality seeds and agricultural inputs. The Alliance intends to expand to Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana and the rest of the continent.

“Mastercard’s work leading the new MADE Alliance: Africa aims to provide 100 million people with greater digital access to critical services,” said Michael Miebach, CEO of Mastercard. “Across Africa, people are driving new growth and opportunities, 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 improve Africa’s digital infrastructure and accelerate inclusive growth.”

As co-chairs, the African Development Bank Group will invest $300 million to support the Alliance’s programs, providing financing for digital infrastructure and incentivizing ecosystem players to improve digital access, and Mastercard will register 15 million users in Africa on its Community Pass platform within five years. , with interoperable digital infrastructure to facilitate the participation of a variety of ecosystem participants. Launched in 2020, Community Pass is a Mastercard social enterprise that digitizes and connects remote and underserved communities with governments, NGOs and the private sector to access critical services.

“The African Development Bank Group believes that digitalization through Mastercard Community Pass can play a vital role in increasing the adoption of agricultural technologies to help feed Africa, as well as improve the incomes of millions of African smallholder farmers. . Joining the Alliance to Mobilize Access to the Digital Economy: Africa will amplify and multiply the impact of the Bank’s investments to build sustainable and climate-smart food systems across the continent. We applaud US Vice President Kamala Harris’ commitment to financial and digital inclusion in Africa,” said African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina.

To enable more people to join the digital economy, an ecosystem of partners from the public and private sectors is essential. The Alliance combines the complementary strengths of partners in key geographies to promote sustainable digital access. Together, the partners will provide connectivity, skills, employment and digital access to financial and other critical services.

More than half a dozen organizations have committed to participating in MADE Alliance: Africa at launch, including Equity Bank, Microsoft, Heifer International, and Syngenta Foundation. The African Development Bank Group and Mastercard will serve as initial co-chairs of the effort.

The MADE Alliance: Africa efforts will support the US Digital Transformation with Africa (DTA) Initiative and the African Union’s Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa (DTS). It also ties into other business goals announced this year focused on Africa, including:

  • A memorandum of agreement with the International Trade Administration, an office within the U.S. Department of Commerce, to advance digital access and inclusion in Africa based on mutual interest to support the goals of the U.S. government’s Digital Transformation with Africa initiative and the Alliance MADE: Africa. This collaboration builds on Mastercard hosting US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo during AmCham in Nairobi in April for a “Digital Showcase” on best practices and lessons learned for building and scaling digital solutions across the African continent.
  • EdTech Africa, a new partnership between the Government of Kenya, Kenyan President Ruto, and the US, building on Mastercard’s existing multi-billion dollar investments with the Atlanta University Consortium (AUC) Data Science Initiative ) and the Howard University Applied Data Science and Analytics Initiative. . This effort cultivates educational exchanges between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and African academics in the ever-evolving landscape of emerging technology and is an example of innovation, talent empowerment and cross-cultural connectivity across the African diaspora, poised to drive The education. and technology for young leaders in Africa and America.
  • A new partnership involving Mastercard Community Pass, the Cooperative Bank of Kenya, the Shell Foundation and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office that gives small farmers access to a digital market and enables affordable credit purchase clean energy tools that support farmers’ income, such as solar-powered irrigation pumps. First announced in January, the effort aligns with Mastercard’s participation in two USAID initiatives: the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE) and the Women in the Digital Economy Fund (WiDEF).

Bringing together leaders from the public and private sectors will create and improve accessible, affordable and reliable digital technologies and tools that are scalable, enabling more people to join the digital economy.