The African Development Bank (ADB) set aside a $400 million pot to support financial inclusion initiatives on the continent, with the first project announced set to cover mobile money interoperability in West Africa.
It plans to distribute $100 million in grants and $300 million in loans from the facility by the end of 2030.
Initial contributors are The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, French Development Agency and the Government of Luxembourg.
The first project backed is a $11.3 million grant to the Central Bank of West African States, which covers Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. The cash will help fund a mobile money interoperability platform.
ADB president Akinwumi Adesina said: “We believe that with the right investments in innovation and smart digital growth, the obstacles to achieving financial inclusion and greater economic opportunity for all will be overcome”.
Funding and credit will be available for initiatives to develop infrastructure, product development, regulatory reform and capacity building.
One of the aims is to support projects to narrow a gender gap in use of finance services in Africa.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back