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As a technology leader in the global payments industry, Mastercard is at the forefront of championing financial inclusion and digitization across Africa. The unprecedented growth and hunger for innovation amongst the people of this continent, and its population that is set to double by 2050 according to World Bank, is underscored by the adoption of emerging payment technologies and inclusion in the digital economy.

A key component with regards to the growth of Africa’s financial ecosystem, is the emergence of fintechs. In Africa, fintech start-up funding is one of the most active business investments, accounting for nearly $3 billion.  Mastercard are helping to fuel the acceleration of this landscape by co-creating solutions and offering access to its partners, expertise, technologies, markets, and customers so fintechs can build, launch, and grow.

“As the continent with the world’s youngest population, Africa has the potential to shape geopolitics and world economies. While Africa might have unique priorities and challenges to address, it has grown vastly in key areas such as infrastructure, modernization, and the inclusion of its people into the digital economy. In order to advance this progress, businesses need to continue scaling and delivering practical and locally relevant solutions,” says Mark Elliott, Division President, Sub-Saharan Africa at Mastercard.

“Africa presents a vast untapped market for fintech and digital solutions, and Mastercard have developed a comprehensive strategy for leveraging these opportunities and fostering innovation in the region. Furthermore, we recognize the profound impact of fintech services on consumers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), especially in the context of Africa’s financial inclusion objectives.

The fintech landscape in Africa has been evolving at lightning speed, and the market is expected to reach $65bn by 2030. This equates to a 13-fold increase in 2021, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing regions. On a continent where inclusion is critical for economic growth, fintech companies are disruptors who are committed to changing the status quo. Mastercard has fintech partnerships in 172 countries, and by continuing to collaborate with them, contributes to the rapid digital transformation that makes consumers’ lives simpler, convenient, and rewarding.

“At Mastercard, we see our role as an enabler, helping countries to digitize economies by accessing innovative, fit-for-purpose products, services, and strategic consultancy to positively developing wider digital infrastructure, urban mobility and interoperability,” concludes Elliott. “As a single, comprehensive technology provider, we will continue to play a central role in facilitating fintech partnerships. This approach not only promotes innovation, but also aligns with our goal of fostering financial inclusion across the continent for decades to come.”

In line with exploring crucial topics for Africa economic development, Mark Elliott, Division President, Sub-Saharan Africa at Mastercard will be engaging in a panel discussion at the upcoming 10th edition of the Financial Times Africa Summit in London on the 17th of October. The discussion will be centred around “African business – what are the best models to create value?” alongside various industry leaders and moderated by Andres Schipani from Financial Times.

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