• Friday, June 14, 2024
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ADBG commits $300m to improve digital access for African businesses

ADBG commits $300m to improve digital access for African businesses

The African Development Bank Group (ADBG) has committed $300 million to developing digital infrastructure across the continent to expand digital access for businesses and individuals.

This funding will support a partnership between Mastercard and the development bank, which have jointly launched the Mobilising Access to the Digital Economy (MADE) Alliance: Africa. This Alliance aims to empower 100 million individuals and businesses on the continent with digital access to critical services over the next ten years.

The $300 million from the ADBG will be used to develop digital infrastructure and encourage participants within the digital ecosystem to expand digital access.

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This initiative was announced during the U.S.-Africa Business Forum hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Alliance will prioritise supporting the agricultural sector and women’s economic participation.

According to the partners, one of the initial efforts will be a pilot program launched this year to support three million farmers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria. This program will collaborate with local banks to provide these farmers with digital identities and access to high-quality seeds and agricultural inputs. The Alliance plans to expand its reach to Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, and the entire continent.

“Mastercard’s leadership in the MADE Alliance: Africa aims to provide 100 million people with greater digital access to critical services,” said Michael Miebach, chief executive officer of Mastercard. “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 part of the partnership, Mastercard will focus on registering 15 million users in Africa onto its Community Pass platform within five years.

“The African Development Bank Group believes that digitalization via Mastercard Community Pass can play a vital role in increasing the adoption of agricultural technologies,” stated Akinwumi Adesina, President of the ADBG.

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“This will not only help feed Africa but also improve the incomes of millions of African smallholder farmers. By joining the MADE Alliance: Africa, we can amplify and multiply the impact of our investments to build sustainable, climate-smart food systems across the continent. We also applaud U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’ commitment to financial and digital inclusion in Africa.”

Although Mastercard and the ADBG will serve as the initial co-chairs of this initiative, the Alliance will also receive support from organisations like Equity Bank, Microsoft, Heifer International, Unconnected.org, and Syngenta Foundation.