World Bank unit, MasterCard Foundation boost crucial small loans in Africa
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
A World Bank partner devoted to developing the private sector and The MasterCard Foundation will spend millions of dollars so more impoverished Africans can get loans and other financial services, officials said.
At a Johannesburg, South Africa, news conference May 7, officials from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is part of the World Bank group, and The MasterCard Foundation said they would spend $37.4 million over five years to support banks and other institutions across Africa that provide small loans, a strategy known as microfinancing. People around the world have used such loans to lift themselves out of poverty by starting or expanding small businesses, sending children to school, or buying fertilizer for subsistence farms.
The MasterCard Foundation was established with funds from MasterCard Worldwide in 2006 and operates independently of the company.