Tanzanians in rural areas will benefit from a USD10.6m fund to increase access to formal financial services.
The amount is provided by the MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity to accelerate access to financial services of nearly 8m people in rural areas in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.
The Fund awarded 5 companies with USD10.6m under the 2015 Scaling Competition: APA Insurance Ltd, Finserve Africa Ltd./Equitel, M-KOPA LLC, Musoni Kenya Ltd, Olam Uganda Ltd.
These 5 firms introduced innovative approach for scaling up financial inclusion, the increase in access to services such as mobile banking, savings accounts, insurance and credit, according to the MasterCard Foundation.
Nick Hughes, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of M-KOPA, active in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, said that they will focus on increasing the access of low income Tanzanians to clean energy, agricultural inputs and financial services.
The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity is a USD50m challenge fund established to support new products and services that will increase the financial inclusion of smallholder farmers and rural population.
The Fund operates 2 competitions per year destined to financial service providers such as banks, microfinance institutions, insurance companies and agribusinesses.
The level of formal financial access in the rural areas of Tanzania is 8.5% compared to 23% in the urban areas and totally excluded rural population is 60% compared to 45% in urban areas, according to the 2014–2016 Tanzania National Financial Inclusion Framework.