Across Africa, mobile technology is increasingly used for insurance payments, remittances, credit products, and savings services. In East Africa alone an estimated 16 million new mobile money accounts were opened in 2016. In West Africa, the number of active mobile money accounts rose 56% in 2014. In Sub-Saharan Africa over 50% of all mobile network operators (MNOs) have already launched a money service (75 out of 144). Of all regions, Sub-Saharan Africa records the highest level of mobile money penetration. As of December 2014, 23.0% of mobile connections were linked with a mobile money account, making Sub-Saharan Africa currently the most active global region with 61.9 million mobile money accounts. The rise of technology and mobile money in Africa is a tremendous opportunity for financial technology (FinTech) companies to not just transform, but in some cases build the financial markets that can promote financial inclusion and improve livelihoods for low-income populations as well as promote development objectives such as health, energy, and agriculture.

This Capstone Workshop supported USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA) Africa Team’s efforts to expand their portfolio in support of financial inclusion, as well as look at new approaches or partners that could benefit from the DCA partial guarantee tool. The project included two components:

  • Provided an analysis on how DCA’s partial credit can support the growth of digital financial services (DSF) and FinTech in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Provided an understanding on how DCA can strategically leverage its network of local and international financial partners to support the mission.