The African Development Bank has announced the launch of the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility to improve and expand digital financial transactions across Africa.
The multilateral development bank has continued in its drive to provide funds for the development of the continent.
The new fund was launched at the bank’s annual meetings and has the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Agence Française de Développement and the Government of Luxembourg, as initial contributors.
Although, Africa saw significant growth in mobile phone ownership between 2010 and 2015, however, this triggered the rise of innovative digital services across the continent.
In addition, the ADFI will be supporting Africa-based digital financial services across the continent over the next decade to ensure that financial services are brought to more Africans especially those in low-income communities. This is facing a target of 320 million, of which nearly 60 percent are women.
Thus, this will help to close the transaction gender gap between men and women.
The AfDB will be providing $100 million in grants and $300 million in the form of debt from its ordinary capital resources by 2030 to this effect.
The fund will be focused on four areas; infrastructure – including digital and inter-operable payment systems; digital products and innovation; policy and regulatory reform and harmonization; and capacity building.
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.
Quoting the President of African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina
“This grant will help West African states create a digital payment system allowing consumers to send and receive money between mobile wallets and from these wallets to other digital and bank accounts.”
Also, the ADFI will work with financial institutions (bank and non-bank), mobile network operators, remittance and payment gateway providers, Fintech startups, government MDAs, and regional economic organizations. This is the latest move by the bank in its quest for technology innovation on the African continent.