IFC and M-PESA Partner to Increase Financial Inclusion in Mozambique

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 2/20/2024, Location: Africa

To boost financial inclusion, including for small-holder farmers in Mozambique, IFC has signed a cooperation agreement with Vodafone M-PESA Mozambique, part of Africa's largest mobile money service provider.

As part of the agreement, IFC will support M-PESA in several key areas, including revamping and strengthening its existing agent network and conducting comprehensive countrywide training for M-PESA's sales team and agents. IFC will also assist M-PESA to review and expand its merchant acquisition and management strategy in Mozambique, and support M-PESA's activities across different regions.

In addition, the IFC and M-PESA Mozambique will work together to explore and pilot new ways to expand mobile money services in rural areas, with the aim of increasing financial inclusion for smallholder farmers. Mozambique's economy relies on smallholder farmers who are responsible for 93 percent of the country's total agricultural production.

About forty percent of adults in Mozambique currently have a mobile money account, compared to the regional average of 64 percent. Work under the agreement is expected to increase financial inclusion across Mozambique, providing customers with a safe, secure, and affordable way to send and receive money, top-up airtime, make bill payments, receive salaries, and get short-term loans.

This agreement comes on the back of a successful, initial collaboration between IFC and M-PESA Mozambique that saw the number of active registered M-PESA users triple from 1.9 million to 6 million in the four-year period between 2018 and 2022.

"We have seen very positive results since MPESA was launched in Mozambique in 2013 having paid about 9 billion Meticais ($ 142 million) in commissions to agents just in the last 5 years," said Sergio Gomes, Director of Vodafone M-PESA Mozambique. "The new phase of MPESA will focus on expanding our value proposition and use cases to limit the use of cash in the economy. One important vertical where we want to intervene is in agriculture where payments are dominated by cash. We believe that through this partnership with IFC, we can have an impact on farmers by digitizing their value chains beginning with payments received for their produce and moving out to developing more sophisticated products like insurance".

"This enhanced partnership between IFC and M-PESA Mozambique underscores our mutual commitment to fostering a more inclusive financial ecosystem and supporting the growth of the agricultural sector, particularly for smallholder farmers," said Sérgio Pimenta, Vice President for Africa at IFC. "This is vital for the country's economy."

IFC has an investment portfolio of US$191 million in Mozambique, with investments spanning across infrastructure, energy, mining, agribusiness, and forestry. IFC's Mozambique advisory portfolio is worth US$11 million, with projects focused largely on finance, insurance, and electricity.

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