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Mastercard and AfDB Launch MADE Alliance to Boost Digital Access in Africa

Mastercard and the African Development Bank Group have launched the Mobilising Access to the Digital Economy (MADE) Alliance: Africa, aiming to provide digital access to 100 million people and businesses across Africa within the next decade.

The initiative, announced at the US-Africa Business Forum hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, will initially focus on the agricultural sector and women, starting with a pilot programme to support three million farmers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria through digital identities and access to agricultural inputs.

The African Development Bank Group will invest $300million to support the programme, while Mastercard plans to register 15 million users onto its Community Pass platform. The initiative aligns with the US Digital Transformation with Africa Initiative and the African Union’s Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa, involving various partners to enhance digital infrastructure and access.

Additional collaborations include agreements with the US Department of Commerce, educational exchanges through EdTech Africa, and efforts to provide smallholder farmers access to a digital marketplace and affordable credit for clean energy tools. The MADE Alliance represents a significant effort to foster digital inclusion and economic growth across Africa through public-private partnerships.

The Alliance

More than half a dozen organisations have committed to participate in the MADE Alliance: Africa at launch, including Equity Bank, Microsoft, Heifer International, Unconnected.org and Syngenta Foundation. The African Development Bank Group and Mastercard will serve as initial co-chairs of the effort.

“Mastercard’s work leading the new MADE Alliance: Africa aims to provide 100 million people greater digital access to critical services,” said Michael Miebach, CEO of Mastercard. “Across Africa, people are driving new growth and opportunity, and Mastercard wants to support their success. This Alliance builds on the innovations and investments we are already making with partners in 45 countries to enhance Africa’s digital infrastructure and accelerate inclusive growth.”

African Development Bank Group president Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, also added: “The African Development Bank Group believes that digitalisation via Mastercard Community Pass can play a vital role in increasing the adoption of agricultural technologies to help feed Africa, as well as improve incomes of millions of African smallholder farmers.

“Joining the Mobilising Access to the Digital Economy Alliance: Africa will amplify and multiply the impact of the Bank’s investments to build sustainable, climate-smart food systems across the continent. We applaud US Vice President Kamala Harris’ commitment to financial and digital inclusion in Africa.”

Bringing together public and private sector leaders will create and enhance accessible, affordable and trusted technology and digital tools that are scalable, enabling more people to join the digital economy.

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