Mastercard and the African Development Bank have introduced the Mobilizing Access to the Digital Economy (MADE) Alliance: Africa, aiming to provide 100 million individuals and businesses in Africa with digital access to key services within the next decade.

An announcement in this regard came during the US-Africa Business Forum hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce.

Several organisations, including Equity Bank, Microsoft, Heifer International,, and Syngenta Foundation will participate in the MADE Alliance: Africa.

Mastercard and the African Development Bank will co-chair the initiative.

The initial focus of the new alliance will be on supporting the agricultural sector and women.

A pilot programme will be launched this year by collaborating with local banks to assist three million farmers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Nigeria to secure digital identities and access to high-quality seeds and agricultural inputs.

This initiative will later be expanded to Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, and other regions across Africa.

The African Development Bank Group will invest $300m in alliance programmes to finance digital infrastructure and incentivise ecosystem actors to boost digital access.

African Development Bank Group president Akinwumi Adesina said: “The African Development Bank Group believes that digitalisation via Mastercard Community Pass can play a vital role in increasing the adoption of agricultural technologies to help feed Africa, as well as improve incomes of millions of African smallholder farmers.

“Joining the Mobilizing Access to the Digital Economy Alliance: Africa will amplify and multiply the impact of the Bank’s investments to build sustainable, climate-smart food systems across the continent.”

Mastercard aims to register 15 million African users onto its Community Pass platform within five years.

Community Pass, launched in 2020, is a social enterprise that connects remote, underserved communities to governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the private sector for access to critical services.

According to Mastercard, the initiatives of the MADE Alliance: Africa will support the US Digital Transformation with Africa Initiative (DTA) and the African Union’s Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa (DTS).

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

“This Alliance builds on the innovations and investments we are already making with partners in 45 countries to enhance Africa’s digital infrastructure and accelerate inclusive growth.”