Kigali, Rwanda – May 12, 2016 – The Government of Rwanda today announced a collaboration with MasterCard to fast-track the country’s move to include 90 percent of its citizens in the financial mainstream, as set out in its Vision 2020 strategy.

In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed by the CEO, Rwanda Development Board and Cabinet Member, Francis Gatare, and Raghu Malhotra, president of Middle East and Africa for MasterCard, Rwanda will promote the move to a cashless economy by collaborating on numerous initiatives.

MasterCard's Raghu Malhotra with Minister Gatare

MasterCard’s Raghu Malhotra with Minister Gatare

These solutions include, the digitization of school fees and national healthcare claim payments, providing an online payment gateway for Rwanda Online, contributing to the creation of a common mobile banking platform, and contributing to the effective management of spending activities across borders.

Speaking at the announcement Gatare said, “We are confident that Rwanda’s partnership with MasterCard will be beneficial to the country and its citizens as we are implementing our vision of becoming a knowledge based service-oriented economy. I believe this can only be achieved as we embrace the fourth industrial revolution.”

Malhotra remarked that the Government of Rwanda shares the commitment of MasterCard to realizing a world beyond cash. He said, “Our global reach and local experience makes MasterCard a perfect partner to help Rwanda meet its Vision 2020 strategy. Rwanda is a key market in East Africa for MasterCard and today’s announcement marks an important milestone in driving financial inclusion, not just in the country but in the region and Africa as a whole.”

According to the World Bank’s Global Findex 2014, two billion people globally do not have access to formal financial services. In Rwanda, 42 percent of adults own a financial account, whether formal or informal.

Rwanda’s Vision 2020 aims for 70 percent financial inclusion by 2017 and 90 percent by 2020. Building on the company’s approach to develop partnerships with governments, NGOs and local businesses, MasterCard and the Rwandan government will address common challenges faced by poor and often remote populations, such as the lack of formal identification and financial illiteracy.

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 About Rwanda Development Board

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) was set up by bringing together all the government agencies responsible for the entire investor experience under one roof. This includes key agencies responsible for business registration, investment promotion, environmental clearances, privatization and specialist agencies which support the priority sectors of ICT and tourism as well as SMEs and human capacity development in the private sector. The RDB is independent and influential. It reports directly to the President and is guided by a Board that includes all the key Ministers (e.g., finance, commerce, infrastructure, agriculture.)

 About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), 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 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 Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

 RDB Communications:

Maurice Twahirwa

maurice.twahirwa@rdb.rw

+250788877233

 MasterCard Communications Contact:

Geraldine Trennery

geraldine.trennery@mastercard.com

+27 76 301 0264

Seth Eisen

seth.eisen@mastercard.com

914-249-3153