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MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth to Focus on Research & Philanthropy

Today, over a billion people live in extreme poverty, and 2.5 billion adults lack access to formal financial services.  In response, MasterCard announced today the creation of the MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth.  The Center will conduct and support academic research and provide strategic philanthropic investments that further sustainable and equitable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world.  See full press release.

In a recent blog post “Economic Growth Is Not Enough – It Must Be Inclusive”, MasterCard Vice Chairman Walt Macnee said, “Today, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to define the future – more evenly and more equitably and in a way that’s more sustainable and prosperous, lifting more people up, instead of leaving them behind.”

Economic empowerment

Ajay Banga, MasterCard Worldwide President and CEO (right), discusses the benefits of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) Debit MasterCard with Hilda Nkantini (left) at the Elias Motsoaledi settlement in Soweto outside Johannesburg. Nkantini is one of the nearly six million South Africans who now receive their social grant payments securely and conveniently by using the Debit MasterCard, which can also be used to pay for purchases, check balances and withdraw cash largely without incurring transaction fees. (Nadine Hutton/AP Images for MasterCard Worldwide)


The Center for Inclusive Growth will include an Academic Advisory Council comprised of Senior Fellows from academic centers around the world.  At launch, the following Senior Fellows were named:

  • Fan Gang
  • Robert Lawrence
  • Guntram Wolff
  • Martyn Davies
  • Ricardo Hausmann
  • Suman Bery