New partnerships that drive digital acceleration and financial inclusion in Africa have been set up, explicitly focusing on enhancing M-Pesa’s offering to improve the lives of 100 million people and one million small businesses.
Microsoft and Vodafone have entered a 10-year strategic partnership in Africa and Europe, focusing on providing scalable digital platforms and services. The collaboration will utilise generative AI and cloud services to benefit over 300 million businesses, public sector organisations, and consumers. Mastercard also plans to expand its Community Pass program, facilitating agriculture, healthcare, and local commerce transactions for the rural poor. Since its launch in 2019, the program has already reached around 3.5 million financially excluded people in Uganda. Mastercard aims to reach 30 million people with Community Pass by 2027.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) recently discussed closing the digital divide to promote financial inclusion. Key themes included the importance of research and creativity in increasing access to financial services for individuals and small businesses, particularly in emerging markets where financial inclusion gaps persist. The role of AI and technology tools in spurring digital and financial inclusion was highlighted, focusing on leveraging innovation to build more resilient economies.
Why does it matter?
These initiatives and partnerships highlight the commitment to bridging the digital and financial divide. By leveraging technology, collaboration, and tailored regulations, organisations aim to empower underserved populations and promote economic growth. The focus is on providing access to essential services for millions of individuals and businesses in Africa and worldwide.