Mastercard launches competition for African financial inclusion
The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP) has launched a new competition to find financial products and services that improve the lives of poor people in rural areas of Africa.
The 2017 competition will follow a rolling format and will be open throughout the year with applications submitted and evaluated periodically. The first submission period will close for judging on 10 August 2017. Mastercard says unsuccessful applicants will be able to refine and resubmit their applications subsequently, along with new entrants in the competition.
Ann Miles, director of financial inclusion at the Mastercard Foundation, says its fund has “already met its initial objective of improving the lives of one million smallholder farmers and poor people in rural Africa”.
FRP will accept applications for solutions that expand and deepen financial inclusion. It will also support selected solutions that have already been successfully implemented and are being scaled to a new sector, a new geographic area, or for a new use.
Applications can be from any financial services provider in any country in the world providing the solution proposed is implemented in specific countries of Africa.
These nations are Burundi, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.
Since its launch in 2015, the fund has held four competitions – and 19 projects across Sub-Saharan Africa have been provided with $23.8 million from the fund.
The 2017 competition launch coincides with the announcement of the 2016 innovation competition winners.
Three projects have been awarded support and a total of $3 million was committed to these firms – coffee exporter Ibero Uganda, credit scoring platform First Access and Letshego Financial Services in Mozambique.
You can apply for the 2017 competition here.