Mastercard Foundation to Deploy $1.3 Billion in Partnership With Africa CDC to Save Lives and Livelihoods
The Mastercard Foundation has announced that it will deploy $1.3 billion over the next three years in partnership with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Africa and hasten the economic recovery of the continent.
The Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative will acquire vaccines for at least 50 million people, support the delivery of vaccinations to millions more across the continent, lay the groundwork for vaccine manufacturing in Africa through a focus on human capital development, and strengthen the Africa CDC.
“Ensuring equitable access and delivery of vaccines across Africa is urgent. This initiative is about valuing all lives and accelerating the economic recovery of the continent,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation. “In the process, this initiative will catalyze work opportunities in the health sector and beyond as part of our Young Africa Works strategy,” she added.
The African Union’s goal as set out in the African COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access Strategy is to vaccinate at least 60 percent of its population – approximately 750 million people or the entire adult population of the continent – by the end of 2022. To date, less than two percent of Africans have received at least one vaccine dose.
The new partnership builds on the efforts of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access facility (COVAX), the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), and the global community to expand access to vaccines across Africa. The number of vaccines available to Africa represents a small portion of the global supply and the financial costs to purchase, deliver, and administer vaccines remain significant. The Africa CDC is calling on governments, global funders, the private sector, and others to help meet this goal.
“Ensuring inclusivity in vaccine access, and building Africa’s capacity to manufacture its own vaccines, is not just good for the continent, it’s the only sustainable path out of the pandemic and into a health-secure future,” said Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC. “This partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is a bold step towards establishing a New Public Health Order for Africa, and we welcome other actors to join this historic journey.”
In 2020, Africa faced its first economic recession in 25 years due to the pandemic. The African Development Bank has warned that COVID-19 could reverse hard-won gains in poverty reduction over the past two decades and drive 39 million people into extreme poverty in 2021. Widespread vaccination is recognized as being critical to the economic recovery of African countries.
The initiative builds on an earlier collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation and the Africa CDC to expand access to testing kits and enhance surveillance capacity in Africa. Through the Foundation’s support, the Africa CDC’s Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) deployed nearly two million COVID-19 tests and more than 12,000 trained health care workers and rapid responders across Africa. In total, the PACT has enabled over 47 million COVID-19 tests across the continent.
Central Bank of Nigeria Grants Microfinance Bank License to Ten Digital Banks
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has recently granted licenses to ten (10) digital banks offering services in the country.
While these digital banks could be lumped as FinTech due to the similarities in their service offerings, they operate under different license categories issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). With payment at the core of these Digital banks, many of them would like to do more, hence, to pursue this aspiration, several of them have acquired microfinance banking (MFB) licenses.
Unlike the regular commercial bank license, the MFB licenses are a low-cost quick fix for digital banks. It allows them to accept deposits and provide lending services, the most basic banking services.
Investors King understands that a microfinance bank (MFB) license is the most commonly used license for the purpose of digital banking in Nigeria. The MFB license enables the holder to receive deposits and grant loans to its customers.
For many Digital banks, an MFB license is important, which has seen a large number of them acquire MFB licenses over the last few years. The MFB license also serves as a quick fix for Digital banks looking to offer some banking services but are unable to raise the ₦25 billion ($59.5 million) required to secure a commercial bank license.
It is however pertinent for individuals to know the status of most digital banks as regards their license before trusting them with their funds. This step shouldn’t be overlooked due to the fact that a lot of digital banks operating in the country today are illegal which can spell doom for customers in the long run.
Check Out The List of Ten (10) Digital Banks Granted Microfinance Bank Licenses by the CBN
Launched in 2016 just as a savings product, Piggyvest which is a CBN-Licensed microfinance bank has morphed into more than just a savings platform and is growing into a robust financial management platform with many products planned for the next few years. Piggyvest operated in partnership with 2 Microfinance banks and used their licenses. However, in early 2018, the startup acquired Gold Microfinance bank and its license.
CBN-Licensed microfinance bank Moniepoint is one of Nigeria’s leading financial solutions providers, formerly known as TeamApt. Moniepoint is a community-based bank with its services powered by Moniepoint MFB Limited, a Microfinance bank duly licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). In 2022, Moniepoint MFB was also awarded by the CBN as the most inclusive payment platform in the country.
3.) VFD Microfinance
VFD Microfinance bank is one of the leading microfinance banks in Nigeria which is based in Lagos. The company is run by a highly experienced management board, with more than five decades of excellent customer service under their belt. The VFD Group Plc has stated that it will intensify its quest to obtain a commercial banking license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) before the end of 2023.
Launched in April 2022, Sofri is a trademark of Links Microfinance Limited (Links Mfb). Links Mfb is licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and deposits are insured by the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). The startup uses technology to deliver superior customer service to its customers.
FairMoney MFB, a digital microfinance bank that is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) provides financial services via its flagship mobile app. With Fairmoney, users can get a loan instantly in 5 minutes, from anywhere in Nigeria. They can repay on or before your due date with no hidden charges.
Mint Digital Bank is a CBN-Licensed microfinance bank and a subsidiary of Finex Microfinance Bank that offers unparalleled value to Nigerians by providing innovative solutions to businesses and individuals who require digital financial services. The bank also provides financial services to underserved groups such as low-income earners.
Carbon is a Microfinance Bank licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with deposits insured by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). Carbon offers Nigerians better financial services through free transfers, high-yield savings, and buy now pay later at zero account fees and an annual interest of 1% per annum.
Kuda is a full-service digital microfinance bank that is duly licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Kuda offers users more than one way to pay easily, including a widely accepted debit card issued in partnership with Visa, quick web payments direct from their Kuda account, and location-based gift cards for shopping and subscriptions. From international transfers to on-the-spot payments at market stalls, the startup has simplified sending money.
Sparkle Microfinance Bank is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). All deposits are insured by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). Sparkle is a lifestyle and financial ecosystem providing seamless solutions to Nigeria’s retailers, SMEs, and individuals. The startup mission is to help Nigerians fulfill their potential by democratizing access to valuable solutions for their business and personal needs.
Eyowo Microfinance Bank Ltd (RC838171) is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a Microfinance Bank. Eyowo unifies all the financial tools users need to pay, receive, budget, and save money in one place, also providing you with the safest card in Nigeria in partnership with Mastercard.
MasterCard Partners Stables to Launch Stablecoin Wallet
MasterCard has announced a partnership with an Australian stablecoin platform, Stables to launch a stablecoin wallet for customers in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
The payment giant noted that the stablecoin wallet will only support deposits and withdrawals via the Australian Dollar at launch.
Speaking on the development, Stables co-founder and CEO Daniel Li stated that Mastercard’s stablecoin wallet will be available for users in the second quarter of 2023. He added that the stablecoin wallet will later support the United States Dollar, British Pounds, and Euro as well as currencies in Latin America and Africa.
While anticipating the launch, Li disclosed that stablecoin has the potential to improve the financial system. “Stablecoins will play a pivotal role in the new financial system and will be core to bridging the worlds of traditional and decentralized finance,” he said.
Li further added that users will be able to top up their balance using bank transfer, direct debit and other modes of payment.
Meanwhile Mastercard Australia’s head of fintech, Kallan Hogan said that the company is committed to providing innovative payment solutions that will give users the freedom to spend their assets when, how, and where they want.
Investors King understands that a partnership involving a reputable payment company such as MasterCard will be a positive sentiment, especially after the debacle that befell USDC. Recall that USDC fell below the $1 mark after one of its banking partners, Silvergate ran out of liquidity.
No doubt, this collaboration is expected to strengthen stablecoin and by extension, the crypto industry as a whole.
Benefits of Mastercard’s Stablecoin Wallet
The partnership involves the stablecoin-only wallet built by Stables, coming with a payment card supported by Mastercard. The payment card allows users to spend and save the USDC stablecoin by converting the digital currency into fiat and settling in the MasterCard network.
In addition, users can also top up their balance using bank transactions, direct debits, and other methods of payment.
ALAT by Wema Announces Call For Entries For the 2023 Edition of Its Hackathon Program
Nigeria’s digital bank ALAT by Wema has opened application entries for the fourth edition of its hackathon program, with the theme, “Hackaholics 4.0 ‘Re-imagine’.
Announcing the commencement of entries for the program, the bank’s executive director, Digital services, Mr. Tunde Mabawonku said that just as the bank is constantly innovating by refining banking with ALAT, it is also poised to help individuals and organizations to innovate to make the country better.
In his words,
“Just as we redefined experiential banking with ALAT, Hackaholics is at the heart of our innovative project for startups. We are poised to host the largest campus hackathon this year. As we plan the next eight decades of Wema Bank, we need to innovate and help encourage others to innovate. We try to get the best and brightest and give the country ideas on how to transform our organizations to become world-class”.
Also speaking on the commencement of this year’s edition, the bank’s Chief Digital Officer Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi said the bank has successfully disrupted the digital banking ecosystem by producing the first digital bank and creating unique experimental banking with ALAT. He added that the hackathon program has been driven by the mindset of innovation.
This year workaholics 4.0 was launched with a push to bring together 10,000 young innovators from across Nigeria as well as Africa, with a mission to investigate the endless possibilities in emerging technologies while utilizing its neo-bank proposition to significantly expand the student and youth eco-system.
The bank plans to produce 5,000 solutions, create six pitch centers, and have almost one million footfalls during the campaign. For this year, the winner takes home N3,000,000 First runner-up N2,500,000, and Second Runner-up N1,500,000.
To cover more grounds regarding societal problems, this year’s Hackaholics edition is expanding its scope and exploring more verticals, which include Education, Climate, civic tech, Insurance, GovTech, Health, Gender-Based Violence, Fintech, Financial Inclusion, and Entertainment.
Participants can be part of this year’s Hackaholics 4.0 by registering on the website, to Join a diverse group of problem-solvers, developers, designers, and creative thinkers at this year’s edition to make a difference.
Steps to follow
- Click register now on the workaholic’s website
- Input your solution details and information
- Input your team members’ details
- Submit your application and await your email.
Benefits Participants stand to gain
Hackaholics is a great opportunity for participants to learn and experiment. They stand to benefit from the following ;
- Grand to build/ scale solutions
- Support for product and integration
- Visibility for your team/ solution
- Access to community of founders
- Coaching/ Mentorship for founders
- Learn from renowned industry expert
Investors King understands that as a way of honoring its commitment to inclusivity, women-led teams will be given recognition and rewards in this year’s edition.
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