The MasterCard Foundation
Amos Odero, Associate Programme Manager in the MasterCard Foundation’s Financial Inclusion Team, spoke to us about his experience with rapid prototyping at the MicroLead Peer Learning Conference. Here’s what he had to say:
We interviewed Prabhat Labh, who’s been The MasterCard Foundation representative to MicroLead for the last four years. Our interview template is a modified Proust Questionnaire (with apologies to Vanity Fair and Proust).
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My most blissful moments are spending time with my family – my daughter, wife, siblings – and you talk and chat and eat and worry about nothing.
What is your greatest fear?
Agent services. Mobile technology. Alternate delivery channels. Are these the keys to offering affordable and profitable savings services to Africa’s unbanked?
La question de l’amélioration des opportunités économiques des jeunes a suscité plusieurs réponses de la part de la communauté du développement. Les réponses les plus fréquentes tournent autour du développement ou du renouvellement des compétences, de l’emploi, et des programmes d’entreprenariat.
Lorsque l’UNCDF et la Mastercard Foundation lancèrent le programme YouthStart en 2010, tous deux étaient conscients que la microfinance pourrait aider les jeunes à développer une base d’actifs solide, à créer des moyens de subsistance durables, et à devenir des contributeurs productifs pour leurs familles et leurs communautés.
The question around improving the economic opportunities for youth has garnered several responses from the development community. The most common of these responses focuses on skills training/retraining, employment, and entrepreneurship programmes. Yet, there is growing evidence which notes providing vulnerable groups, such as youth, with financial services can help them improve their livelihoods and build their assets in the long term, thus decreasing their vulnerability and improving their standards of living.
When UNCDF and the MasterCard Foundation launched the YouthStart Programme in 2010, both saw the potential microfinance could have in helping youth build a strong asset base, create sustainable livelihoods, and be productive contributors for their families and communities.
Increasing access to financial and nonfinancial services by young people in developing countries has become an important priority for financial inclusion practitioners in recent years. In response, UNCDF developed a regional programme — YouthStart — to pilot approaches by financial service providers to develop affordable, relevant and accessible financial products for young people in eight Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Africa.
UNCDF, the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs),has partnered with The MasterCard Foundation to expand a flagship programme that will enable three million low-income clients in Africa to access mobile financial services for the first time.
MicroLead Expansion (MLE), an UNCDF programme, is hosting its first knowledge sharing event. The three-day workshop was designed to facilitate the sharing of experiences among financial inclusion partners of the programme from the South. The objective of the workshop is to leverage on learnings from all Financial Service Providers (FSP) and Technical Service Providers (TSP) supported by the programme.