Mastercard has recently held its second annual Community Pass Customer Summit in Kampala, Uganda, marking a significant milestone in its ongoing efforts to promote digital and financial inclusion across Africa and beyond. The summit brought together more than 90 public and private sector partners and featured over 20 thought leaders dedicated to developing sustainable solutions for underserved communities.
The event showcased more than 10 innovative technologies and financial institutions, each presenting digital solutions aimed at including underserved communities in various sectors such as agriculture, health, micro-commerce, and education. Interactive panel discussions at the summit focused on the impact of digital technology in service delivery and economic growth in remote areas, covering themes like credit access, last mile delivery infrastructures, entrepreneurship enablement, and innovative financing for sustainable outcomes.
Community Pass, a Mastercard initiative, is at the forefront of these efforts. It is a shared interoperable platform that offers digital infrastructure to public and private sector entities, aiming to serve marginalized and frequently offline communities. The platform, which has already reached nearly 5 million users globally in countries like Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and India, provides a commercially sustainable way to scale service delivery and increase access to critical services including agriculture, healthcare, and micro-commerce.
Tara Nathan, EVP and Founder of Mastercard Community Pass, highlighted the summit’s transformative potential, emphasizing that Community Pass is not just a digital platform but a catalyst for change. It bridges the gap between underserved communities and essential services and is committed to enhancing digital and financial access.
The summit also saw the announcement of three major collaborations: the launch of the Yojana card in India, a partnership with Shell Foundation and Co-operative Bank of Kenya to support smallholder farmers, and the introduction of Equity Bank of Uganda’s financial inclusion card. These collaborations aim to bring significant changes in digital and financial inclusion for smallholder farmers and rural communities.
Gerald Begumisa, Managing Director of Yo! Uganda, spoke about the impact of the partnership with Mastercard’s Community Pass, which has already reached 1.2 million smallholder farmers in Uganda. The summit, according to Begumisa, is a major step towards fostering financial resilience and amplifying prosperity in Uganda.
Daniel Huba, Vice President, Community Pass Market Development, Sub-Saharan Africa at Mastercard, also emphasized the platform’s importance in the continent. He stated that Community Pass goes beyond connectivity, fostering sustainable economic opportunities and integrating digitally excluded individuals into the formal digital economy. The summit is seen as a critical move towards making digital tools and solutions universally accessible in Africa’s evolving economy.