In an effort to support projects that expand financial inclusion in rural Africa and redeem long-awaited pledges, the MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP) has announced that three African companies, each from Malawi, Uganda, and Burundi, have been selected to be awarded a sum of USD 2,808,295.
These three African companies have been shortlisted from a sea of 195 firms that tendered applications to the third phase of the Fund’s 2017/2018 rolling out competition. This conclave was one of the Fund’s largest as it concerns the foundation’s efforts to search for and support both innovative and scalable financial products/services to uplift the standard of living for the underprivileged in African rural areas.
The financing for the next group of companies, which is assessed as the fourth and final leg of the competition, will be made public in the wee months of 2019.
It was earlier in the year that the same Fund disbursed USD 9 Mn to nine projects in the first and second phases of the competition. The nine companies of the receiving end of this fund had been selected from over 300 firm applications in the first two phases of the rolling out competition, whose official opening and closing dates were June 2017 and January 2018 respectively.
Currently, the Fund’s portfolio comprises 33 projects spread across 14 African countries, including Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Mozambique, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia alongside the three recent additions.
The USD 2.8 Mn support is expected to foster the extension of agronomy, finance and insurance solutions to the excluded rural populaces in Malawi, Uganda, and Burundi. Hands on deck to make this initiative a success from the aforementioned countries include Prothem Usine S.A, Pula Advisor GmbH Limited, and Enviu BV Limited, respectively.
Prothem, who is receiving USD 800 K will be joining forces with SOCADE Microfinance to provide both agricultural and financial services to smallholder farmer suppliers in Burundi. Pula, after being awarded USD 1,158,295, is saddled with the task of scaling up a bundle of financial and agronomic services for smallholder farmers in Malawi and Zambia. Enviu is charged with using its USD 800 K fund to make pensions available and affordable to all and sundry, on the backs on its track record in developing a micro-pension product designed for the informal sector to specifically enable workers to save for retirement while they work.
This development first appeared on Digest Africa.
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