Nairobi, Kenya, 17 December 2018 – The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity today announced that three companies from Burundi, Malawi, and Rwanda will receive a total of US$2,808,295 to support projects that expand financial inclusion in rural Africa. The three companies were selected from among 195 firms that submitted applications to the third phase of the Fund’s 2017/2018 rolling competition.
The 2017/2018 rolling competition was one of the Fund’s largest in its efforts to find and support innovative and scalable financial products and services that improve the lives of poor people living in rural areas of Africa. Financing for a last group of companies, assessed as part of the fourth and final phase of the competition, will be announced in early 2019. Earlier this year, the Fund awarded US$9 million to nine projects in the first and second phases of the competition.
The Fund portfolio now includes 33 projects spread across 15 countries in Africa (Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia). This latest round of support will extend agronomy, finance, and insurance solutions to excluded rural populations in the three countries.
Companies selected in the third phase of the rolling competition are:
“We are excited to expand our portfolio by awarding three more companies to implement their innovative projects that will transform lives of the rural poor across Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Wambui Chege, Team Leader of the Fund for Rural Prosperity. “It is quite interesting to see how companies are leveraging technology, such as drones, to provide last-mile financial services to smallholder farmers across Africa and we are glad to see their innovations come to fruition.”
Ann Miles, Director of Thought Leadership and Innovation at the Mastercard Foundation said, “We continue to be impressed by the creativity and commitment of Africa’s entrepreneurs as they develop sustainable businesses while having a positive social impact. Innovation in financial inclusion, especially for smallholder farmers, will drive the change necessary to improve their productivity, incomes, and opportunities for better lives.”
An overview of the three projects selected can be found in the PDF download link at the bottom of this page. More information about the 2017/2018 rolling competition is also available on the website www.frp.org.
NOTE TO EDITORS
The countries of focus for the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity rolling competition are: Benin, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.
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About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. The Foundation’s work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty. One of the largest foundations in the world, it works almost exclusively in Africa. It was created in 2006 by Mastercard International and operates independently under the governance of its own Board of Directors. The Foundation is based in Toronto, Canada. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.
For more information, please contact:
Associate Director KPMG IDAS
Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity
+254 (20) 269 9137/8/9
Communications Advisor, Financial Inclusion