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Mastercard aims to deliver digital identity, access for 100M in Africa

Partners with African Development Bank Group on new MADE Alliance
Mastercard aims to deliver digital identity, access for 100M in Africa

Mastercard is doubling down on spreading its Community Pass, a digital platform that holds a digital ID and wallet in a smart card and enables people in developing nations to access to government and humanitarian services.

The payment giant is partnering with the African Development Bank Group to deliver digital identity and access to online services to 100 million individuals and businesses across Africa over the next 10 years.

The African Development Bank Group has pledged to invest US$300 million into the initiative, named Mobilizing Access to the Digital Economy (MADE) Alliance: Africa. Mastercard, on the other hand, has promised to register 15 million users in Africa onto the Community Pass platform within five years.

The initiative will initially focus on supporting the agricultural sector in women. The first pilot program will launch in 2024 in Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria. The Alliance will work with local banks to provide digital identities and access to seeds and other resources. The program will then expand to Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana and the rest of the continent. The Alliance also plans to work with public and private partners to deliver services, including connectivity, work skills, employment and financial services.

“Across Africa, people are driving new growth and opportunity, and Mastercard wants to support their success,” says Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach.

The announcement was made on the sidelines of last week’s U.S.-Africa Business Forum hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Community Pass was launched in 2020 as Mastercard’s social enterprise for digitizing underserved communities. The solution serves 3.5 million people but the company has ambitious plans to reach 30 million people by 2027, Tara Nathan, Mastercard executive vice president and Community Pass founder, said in an interview in October 2023.

In 2023, Community Pass received an ID2020 certification. This month, Mastercard was promoted from a Corporate Member to a Sustaining Member of the Board at the OpenID Foundation (OIDF), a global open standards body focused on identity.

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