US $54 Million for financial inclusion initiatives in Africa

A press release from MasterCard Foundation dated Oct. 1, 2015 announces: “Financially Excluded People in Africa to Benefit as The MasterCard Foundation Expands Activities in Rural and Agricultural Finance.”

From the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa in Lusaka: “The MasterCard Foundation …announced the initial winners of the first Innovation Competition under its US$50 million Fund for Rural Prosperity. The companies received a total of US$6.9 million for their new approaches in providing financial products and services to poor people and marginalized populations.

“These new made-in-Africa solutions have a good chance of giving poor people in rural areas the financial access they need,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Foundation. “It was exciting to see so many companies responding to our call for proposals, thinking outside-the-box to figure out low-cost ways to deliver savings, credit and insurance to this population.”

The innovation winners include companies that will implement projects in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda (see full list of winning companies attached). Almost 1.7 million people are expected to benefit directly from these projects.

“The nine winners were announced at the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Lusaka. The Foundation also used the occasion to unveil three rural and agricultural finance partnerships totalling US$47 million in support. The list includes a US$15 million Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) project to help 730,000 smallholder farmer households, particularly women, in Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania access financial support in order to increase farm yields and family incomes.”

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