The MasterCard Foundation and the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) have announced the launch of a USD 50 million Challenge Fund aimed at improving and expanding financial accessibility for the rural population in Zambia and in other sub-Saharan Africa countries.
According to the BoZ Governor Michael Gondwe, by providing increased access to financial services in the country’s rural communities, the fund will help to develop business activity in the region.
President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation, Reeta Rot, concurred with the Governor in a statement released by the MasterCard Foundation ad expressed that the fund will have a particularly positive impact on the lives of smallholder farmers.
“Over the last decade, many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have enjoyed substantial economic growth but much of this growth has not benefitted the rural poor,” she said, “This new Fund will stimulate private sector organizations to provide affordable and accessible savings, credit and insurance products [which] are essential to enable African farmers to increase productivity and incomes and, ultimately, grow rural economies.”
The MasterCard Foundation was established in 2006 as an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada that today boasts more than USD 9 billion in assets and partner organizations in 49 countries.