Key Developments

African Development Bank, Mastercard Launch Alliance to Bridge Digital Divide in Africa

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A new alliance aims to bridge the digital divide for millions in Africa.

The Mastercard and African Development Bank Group (AfDB) launched the “Mobilizing Access to the Digital Economy (MADE) Alliance: Africa” today. Over the next decade, the alliance aims to provide digital access for 100 million individuals and businesses across the continent.

The alliance initially prioritizes the agricultural sector and women’s empowerment.

This year, a pilot program will support three million farmers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria.

Working with local banks, the program will provide digital identities and access to high-quality seeds and agricultural supplies. The alliance plans to expand to Uganda, Ethiopia, and Ghana in the future.

“Mastercard’s leadership in the MADE Alliance: Africa aims to bring critical digital services to more people,” said Michael Miebach, CEO of Mastercard. “We see Africa’s potential for growth, and this alliance is our way to contribute.”

The alliance leverages each partner’s strengths. The AfDB will invest $300 million in digital infrastructure and incentivize participation.

Mastercard will register 15 million users on its Community Pass platform within five years, creating an interoperable system for various participants.

Launched in 2020, Community Pass connects underserved communities to essential services.

“The AfDB believes Mastercard’s Community Pass can revolutionize agricultural technology adoption in Africa,” said Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group.

“This alliance expands our reach and impact in building sustainable food systems.”

The MADE Alliance: Africa aligns with the U.S. Digital Transformation with Africa Initiative and the African Union’s Digital Transformation Strategy. The alliance launch took place during the U.S.-Africa Business Forum.

More than six organizations, including Equity Bank, Microsoft, and Heifer International, have joined the MADE Alliance: Africa at launch.

The alliance is co-chaired by the African Development Bank Group and Mastercard.

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