Mastercard Farmer Network and Kasha are connecting people across East Africa

mastercard caf 20The Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion – the technology company’s first lab focused on financial inclusion – is committed to empowering millions of Africans through the use of public-private partnerships, and the innovation of locally relevant technology solutions

One such solution is the Mastercard Farmer Network, a mobile platform that improves market access, increases price transparency and digitises payments to connect small farmers in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

East Africa is served by Kasha, an e-commerce platform optimised for women’s health and personal care. It offers confidential and convenient service, online/offline digital ordering and delivery to both urban and low-income rural areas. In Uganda, Mastercard launched Kupaa in partnership with UNICEF Uganda and the country’s Ministry of Education. It enables parents and caregivers to pay school fees and other school expenses with their mobile phones securely, easily, and in small payments when they are able, easing the burden of lump sum payments. 

Mastercard expanded its partnership with Unilever to create Jaza Duka (fill up your store) - a digital programme for micro-merchants in Kenya with more than 18,000 duka owners already registered. The programme provides a micro-credit eligibility recommendation to Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), which can then assess a retailer’s credit worthiness and extend credit for stock purchases.

Additional efforts include ongoing work on government disbursement solutions, wage digitisation of private sector workers, solutions for gig workers, scaling efforts with fintechs, digital platforms and digital wallets/apps, solutions addressing needs of the financially vulnerable and the expansion of CityKey and Community Pass programmes.

Besides, Mastercard has expanded its worldwide commitment to financial inclusion, pledging to bring a total of one billion people and 50mn micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.

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