The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has partnered with MasterCard Foundation on a $37.4m joint initiative to expand mobile financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The partnership is also supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Development Bank of Austria, and collaborates with knowledge partners such as the World Bank and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, CGAP.
IFC signed an advisory services agreement valued at $1 million with Airtel Zambia in a bid to flag off the initiative in the sub-continent.
The overall aim of the three-year project is to assist Airtel Money Zambia in building a sustainable mobile money operation.
Under the deal, IFC will provide market research and advisory services on agent network management and business strategy development.
IFC program manager for the Partnership for Financial Inclusion Greta Bull, said, "Mobile phone usage is very high in Zambia, making it an ideal market in which to leverage technology to reach those who have previously been excluded from formal financial services. Financial inclusion is an important tool in promoting inclusive economic growth that can have significant impact on livelihoods."