Rwanda partners with MasterCard for cashless economy

Håkan Dahlström Flickr mastercardThe Rwandan government announced a collaboration with MasterCard to fast-track the country’s move to include 90 per cent of its citizens in the financial mainstream

The announcement was made at the World Economic Forum Africa 2016 as part of the Rwandan government’s ‘Vision 2020’ strategy, which aims to achieve 70 per cent financial inclusion by 2017 and 90 per cent by 2020.

Rwanda development board and cabinet member CEO Francis Gatare has signed an MoU with MasterCard Middle East and Africa President Raghu Malhotra, according to which the country will promote the move to a cashless economy by collaborating on numerous initiatives.

This collaboration aims to address common challenges faced by poor and remote populations, such as the lack of formal identification and financial illiteracy. The initiatives that are part of the collaboration include the digitisation of school fees and national healthcare claim payments, providing an online payment gateway for Rwanda Online, contributing to the creation of a common mobile banking platform and the effective management of spending activities across borders.

Commenting on the announcement Gatare said, “We are confident that Rwanda’s partnership with MasterCard will be beneficial to the country and its citizens as we are implementing our vision of becoming a knowledge-based service-oriented economy. I believe this can only be achieved as we embrace the fourth industrial revolution.”

Malhotra pointed out that Rwanda was a key market in East Africa for MasterCard and the announcement marked an important milestone in driving financial inclusion, not just in the country but in the region and Africa as a whole.

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