Mastercard Foundation grants $4.4m to five firms pushing for financial inclusion in Africa

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A farmer prepares water channels in his maize field in Ngiresi near the Tanzanian town of Arusha on Tuesday, July 17, 2007. Millions of farmers around the world will be affected by a growing movement to change one of the biggest forces shaping the complex global food market: subsidies. Many experts agree farmers need help to grow food year in and year out, but Western farmers may get too much and African farmers too little. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)

The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP) will give US$4,438,551 to five companies in support of its agenda on financial inclusion in Africa.

The five companies, with projects in Burundi, Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, and Zambia, were selected from among 214 firms that submitted applications to the fourth and final phase of the Fund’s rolling competition.

According to Lindsay Wallace, Director of Strategy and Learning at the Mastercard Foundation, “This latest addition to the Fund for Rural Prosperity portfolio enables poor people in rural Africa to benefit from financial services, often for the first time. More than that, it strengthens the Fund as a place where others can learn about what works at scale in driving sustainable financial inclusion for those who need it most.”

In 2018, the Fund awarded approximately US$12m to 12 companies in the first three phases of the rolling competition. This announcement completes the Fund’s portfolio aimed at supporting innovative and scalable financial products and services that improve the lives of low-income communities in rural areas of Africa.

Since its first awards in 2016, the Fund has distributed more than US$41.5 million to companies across the continent in order to propel financial inclusion.

The overall portfolio now includes 38 projects spread across 15 countries in Africa (Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia).

Companies selected in this last phase of the rolling competition are:

  • Lima Kwanza Limited
  • PROSEMA-SA (Promotion du Sésame du Mali)
  • Savonor
  • Sprint Money Limited
  • Syecomp Ghana Limited
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“These new awardees expand and enrich the Fund’s portfolio through their innovative projects, which cut across varied sectors,” said Wambui Chege, Team Leader of the Fund for Rural Prosperity. “The Fund is excited by the potential impact of the projects in its portfolio and will now direct its focus to project implementation, monitoring & evaluation, and sharing emerging learnings from the portfolio with financial inclusion stakeholders. We look forward to driving financial access and meeting the needs of the rural poor across Africa.”