Collaboration to drive inclusive growth across the continent

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World Economic Forum 2015: Ajay S. Banga and  Donald Kaberuka

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ajay Banga, MasterCard’s president and CEO (left), and Donald Kaberuka, the African Development Bank’s president (right), today announced a significant partnership to boost financial inclusion in Africa. Photo by swiss-image.ch/Michael Buholzer

Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2015 – Today, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and MasterCard announced a broad collaboration that aims to expand financial inclusion across the African continent. The collaboration seeks to develop solutions that drive inclusive growth in Africa by broadening access and usage of digital financial services.

MasterCard brings proven expertise to design and scale inclusive financial services solutions and infrastructure. The AfDB actively promotes sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in Africa. Together they will work with African governments and local private sector companies to develop and deliver affordable services that meet the needs of a wide consumer base, especially the traditionally unbanked.

Specifically, the collaboration will seek to:

  • Build cohesive African financial systems that drive inclusion at a country level and enable service delivery to traditionally excluded populations;
  • Invest in a curated 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 thought leadership on financial inclusion and economic development.

Donald Kaberuka, President of the AfDB, commented: “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. Broadening access to financial services will mobilize greater household savings, marshal capital for investment, expand the class of entrepreneurs, and enable more people to invest in themselves and their families.”

Ajay Banga, President and CEO at MasterCard, 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. This can only be accomplished when the public and private sectors combine resources and act together.”

 

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About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), http://www.mastercard.com,is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

About the African Development BankGroup

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 34 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: j.mp/AFDB_Media

 

Media Contacts

MasterCard:

Ryan Erenhouse, tel. +1 914-249-3176, Ryan_Erenhouse@mastercard.com

Birgit Deibele, tel. +27 71 464 0983,Birgit_Deibele@mastercard.com

AfDB:

Olivia Ndong Obiang, tel. +225 01560505, o.ndong-obiang@afdb.org