Digital financial inclusion for small business in Africa

9 December 2022
ITC News

MFS Africa and United Nations agency International Trade Centre partner to accelerate digitalization in 10 African markets

To support small businesses in financial digital inclusion, the new partnership between MFS Africa and the International Trade Centre (ITC) marks a milestone in contributing to the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development.

MFS Africa is the continent’s largest digital payments hub, connecting over 400 million mobile money wallets and 200 million bank wallets across Africa. The fintech operates in over 35 countries on the continent, and 50 globally. MFS Africa has the vision of making borders matter less when it comes to digital transactions.

The MFS platform Beyonic is an innovative gateway for collections, payments, and business analytics. Through its aggregated back end, Beyonic connects businesses to all available wallets and banks in a domestic market while allowing cross-border transactions (when available) and other value-added services. 

“We are delighted to have signed a partnership with MFS Africa to foster SMEs digital financial inclusion in 10 African markets,” says Robert Skidmore, Chief of Sector and Enterprise Competitiveness at the International Trade Centre. “With this partnership ITC will strengthen its commitment to support small businesses in accessing financing and in digitalization and jointly tackle SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). This partnership is the next step into ITC’s ambition to collaborate with the private sector to scale solutions supporting small business.”

In Africa, small businesses represent at least 80% of Africa’s employment and 50% of its GDP. They are the economic lifeblood of communities around the world. Through this partnership, ITC and MFS Africa will contribute to put small businesses at the heart of financial inclusion and digitalization.

Both entities will support businesses in more than 10 African markets (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia) through product integration, capacity building in in fintech and digital payments, exposure to investment and business-to-business meetings.

Ali Ouedraogo, Head of Expansion at MFS Africa says: “More and more small businesses in Africa are suffering from the lack of solid payment tools to optimize their business operations. Supporting the SDGs and its ambitions to promote decent work, sustainable growth and no poverty would also mean to intentionally support small business across the African continent. The partnership with ITC will enormously allow us to offer them the Beyonic platform across Africa, and thus build a new era where small business is at the heart of economic growth for the benefit of millions of African citizens.”