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US collaborates with AfDB to accelerate Africa’s digital transformation

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The United States Commercial Service has announced a strategic collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to drive a massive digital transformation across Africa.

The partnership, which was unveiled on the sidelines of the Africa Tech Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, will open the door to a series of dialogues on how U.S. digital innovation can support development goals across Africa.

Senior U.S. Commercial Liaison to the African Development Bank, Ashley Ndir, who announced the collaboration, said further discussions would focus on key themes such as embracing new technologies, improving internet access, enhancing skills, and creating a regulatory environment conducive to innovation.

“Both parties will explore how African governments can collaborate with American technology firms to grow their economies and how U.S. businesses can tap into new opportunities in Africa’s emerging markets.

“We are at a turning point in Africa’s technological advancement. By bridging insights from the U.S. private sector with Africa’s vibrant markets, we aim to drive innovation and economic growth. This partnership is a testament to that mission”, Nadir said.

“Africa has made significant investments in pivotal infrastructure and policy enhancements to create an innovative digital economy,” Head of ICT Operations at the AfDB, Nicholas Williams, also enthused.

“As Africa’s premier development finance institution, the African Development Bank will help push Africa’s digital boundaries even further by forging strategic relations, building on historical investments and, more importantly, tapping into the energy of our young population, who are digital natives. We value the insights that the U.S. private sector may bring”, he added.

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M-PESA partners IFC to increase financial inclusion for farmers in Mozambique

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Mobile money transfer and payment service provider, M-Pesa, has entered into a partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) aimed at boosting financial inclusion for small-holder farmers in Mozambique.

The agreement will see IFC cooperating with Vodafone M-PESA Mozambique to support M-PESA in several key areas, including revamping and strengthening its existing agent network and conducting comprehensive countrywide training for M-PESA’s sales team and agents.

IFC will also assist M-PESA to review and expand its merchant acquisition and management strategy in Mozambique, and support M-PESA’s activities across different regions.

Sergio Gomes, Director of Vodafone M-PESA Mozambique, who announced the partnership, said the IFC and M-PESA Mozambique will “work together to explore and pilot new ways to expand mobile money services in rural areas, with the aim of increasing financial inclusion for smallholder farmers.”

“We have seen very positive results since M-PESA was launched in Mozambique in 2013 having paid about 9 billion Meticais ($142 million) in commissions to agents just in the last 5 years,” said Gomes.

“The new phase of M-PESA will focus on expanding our value proposition and use cases to limit the use of cash in the economy. One important vertical where we want to intervene is in agriculture where payments are dominated by cash.

“We believe that through this partnership with IFC, we can have an impact on farmers by digitizing their value chains beginning with payments received for their produce and moving out to developing more sophisticated products like insurance,” he added.

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Opera MiniPay wallet celebrates 1 million users in Africa

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Opera MiniPay wallet, a self-custodial dollar stablecoin wallet, has announced a significant achievement of surpassing one million users across Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana.

Charles Hamel, Product Director at MiniPay, who made the announcement, said the stablecoin wallet had seamlessly integrated into the Opera Mini browser for Android users and built on the Celo blockchain.

“The MiniPay wallet has been designed to be intuitive for users of all experience levels to reap the benefits that decentralized finance can bring,” Hamel said.

“Via a familiar Web2 experience, MiniPay makes it easier and more affordable for individuals across Africa to acquire, send and receive Mento cUSD stablecoins – simply by using mobile phone numbers.

“The wallet enables users to save, send, and receive funds instantly on their mobile phones with very low transaction fees and with a mission to onboard millions of users to Web3 across Africa, Celo and Mento Labs aim to provide accessible financial tools through MiniPay embedded in Opera Mini,” he stated.

According to Hamel, MiniPay enables fast, easy, and affordable payments through its stablecoin wallet, offering sub-cent fees through the Celo network.

“MiniPay is currently live in Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana, with plans for expansion into South Africa, and more,” Hamel added.

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