Financial services project reaching out to millions of Africans

Enhanced financial services will soon be made available to around 5.3 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa, following the announcement of a new partnership between The MasterCard Foundation and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.

Building on recent economic momentum and stability in many African economies, the project will create new opportunities for economically disadvantaged people to expand businesses, gain access to cost-effective financial services, and manage risk.

Through the $37.4 million partnership, IFC and The MasterCard Foundation will help microfinance banks expand, as well as develop new products and cost-effective delivery channels while expanding coverage in new, often hard-to-reach locations. The project will also help providers to deliver low-cost mobile financial services to low-income customers.

“Disadvantaged people derive real benefits from having more control over their finances, and our partnership with IFC will help bring responsible financial services to a significant number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation.

“This partnership leverages IFC’s global expertise, local knowledge, and client networks to promote greater financial inclusion,” said Nena Stoiljkovic, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services. “It will help IFC clients do more for low-income customers in Africa.”

IFC invested early in mobile financial services, supporting pioneers such as WIZZIT in South Africa, and providing advisory support to MTN in Nigeria and Airtel in Madagascar.

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