25 February 2015, Sweetcrude, Lagos – African Development Bank, AfDB, said it has partnered MasterCard to expand financial inclusion across the African continent.
The bank said the collaboration seeks to develop solutions that would drive inclusive growth in Africa by broadening access and usage of digital financial services.
It noted that MasterCard would bring its proven expertise to design and scale inclusive financial services solutions and infrastructure, adding that the AfDB has been actively promoting sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in Africa.
The bank said the partnership will work with African governments and local private sector companies to develop and deliver affordable services that would meet the needs of a wide consumer base, especially the traditionally unbanked, explaining that the partnership was to build cohesive African financial systems that would drive inclusion at a country level and enable service delivery to traditionally excluded populations; invest in a set of innovative financial services companies and solutions targeted at addressing barriers that hinder financial inclusion; and share knowledge across academic, policy and commercial sectors to create through leadership on financial inclusion and economic development.
The President of AfDB, Donald Kaberuka, said: “Despite the phenomenal economic growth in Africa, this has not translated into shared prosperity and better livelihoods for the majority. Growth has to be inclusive to be socially and politically sustainable. One key component of inclusive development is financial inclusion, an area in which Africa has been lagging behind other continents.”
He said broadening access to financial services would mobilise greater household savings, marshal capital for investment, expand the class of entrepreneurs, and enable more people to invest in themselves and their families.
President and CEO of MasterCard, Mr. Ajay Banga, said less than one adult out of four in Africa has access to an account at a formal financial institution. “While many of our industry partners have been active in this space, we believe that through our payments expertise, and the AfDB’s 50 years of experience in financing Africa’s economic transformation, we can achieve scaled impact and lasting transformation,” he said.