Organizers of the MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity have urged Ghanaians to take part in its next competition to help improve lives of Ghanaians living in rural areas.
The 2016 edition, which opened on April 14, will allow people from selected countries including Ghana to design innovative ideas that can be implemented using ICT to improve the livelihood of rural folks.
The competition has two categories— innovation and scaling, under which 15 million dollars and 35 million dollars are allocated respectively.
At a ceremony in Accra, the foundation awarded five companies who won the 2015 edition with an initial fund of 10.6 million dollars to bolster their innovative work to alleviate poverty by increasing access to financial services for poor people in rural Africa.
The five companies introduced imaginative thinking in their approach to scaling up financial inclusion— the increase in access to services such as mobile banking, savings accounts, insurance and credit for the benefit of nearly eight million people in remote parts of Africa.
In this year’s edition, the foundation announced that it is searching for other companies that are working to broaden and deepen financial inclusion at scale in rural Africa.
The five firms that will receive the US$10.6 million under the 2015 Fund for Rural Prosperity Scaling competition include , APA Insurance limited, Finserve Africa Limited, M-KOPA LLC, Musoni Limited all in Kenya, and Olam Uganda.
Speaking to Citi Business News, a Senior Programme Manager at the MasterCard Foundation, Rewa S. Misra, stated that there were many impressive companies that entered the competition with proposals to scale work and make a real difference in the financial lives of people living in poverty.
“These five, however, displayed an innovative approach backed by a solid business proposal and commitment to excellence that convinced us to support their efforts”, she explained.
She disclosed that as a result of the five awards announced, nearly eight million people in rural areas of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda will now have access to formal financial services by 2020.
She maintained that the inclusion has been shown to improve peoples’ lives through greater access to health, education and employment opportunities.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana