KAMPALA — Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited has launched a collaboration with UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) that will onboard 300 new Airtel Money agents, 400 Airtel Pay merchants, 500,000 active Airtel Money customers to reach the targeted 1 million newly registered Airtel Money customers in the North and West Nile regions of Uganda.
The partnership aims to support the National Government’s strategy, the Uganda National Financial Inclusion Strategy 2017 – 2022, to ensure women, youth and rural populations at large are reached by services of the finance sector whilst building the digital infrastructure necessary to broaden savings, investment, insurance and reduce barriers to access to financial services.
The Airtel Money and UNCDF partnership will also increase digital financial services access and usage, and improve financial security through financial inclusion.
Airtel Uganda Managing Director, Manoj Murali, said: “Penetration of digital financial services into rural Uganda is often challenged by limited digital and financial infrastructure as well as inadequate access to affordable phones and the lack of relevant product offerings for women, youth, refugees and other vulnerable sectors of society. Our work with UNCDF, will enable us to deliver more service points in remote rural areas, helping to improve Uganda’s financial inclusion and driving digital growth for the wider economy.”
UNCDF Digital Regional Manager, East and Southern Africa, Mike McCaffrey said: “While digital services are key in contributing to the attainment of SDGs in Uganda and the world over, many people unfortunately still find it challenging to tap into this opportunity due to limited or lack of connectivity, devices, and client-centered digital services. By partnering with mobile telecom operators and digital money providers such as Airtel, UNCDF taps into the Market Systems Development approach to incentivize digital finance and digital innovation enablers to enter markets they may otherwise overlook, while addressing market challenges like improving infrastructure for connectivity and efficiencies for mobile money agents, and merchant payment points.”
This bold commitment builds on the ongoing collaboration with UNCDF in implementing the “Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era” strategy launched in 2019.
Improved access to mobile money services will empower marginalised groups such as youth, women, migrants, refugees, and micro-,small-,and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to lead productive and healthy lives by leveraging technology.