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Mastercard Launches Mobile Marketplace in East Africa

Tyrone Stewart

East African FarmersMastercard has launched a mobile marketplace in East Africa, with the intention of connecting smallholder farmers, agents, buyers and banks in the region.

2Kuze, which means ‘let’s grow together’ in Swahili, aims to bring farmers in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania the benefits and security of mobile commerce and payments. It will enable farmers to buy and sell agricultural goods via their phones.

“We believe that by using mobile, a technology that is so ubiquitous among farmers in Africa, we can improve financial access, bring in operational efficiency and facilitate faster payments,” said Daniel Monehin, division president for Sub-Saharan Africa and head of financial inclusion for international markets at Mastercard. “The collaboration between the Lab team and farmers in the market helped to deliver a solution that can be implemented and make an impact without any major changes to the day-to-day.”

2Kuze was developed at the Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion in Nairobi, with the help of a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. An initial pilot has been launched, in partnership with Cafédirect Producers Foundation, a charity owned and led by smallholder farmers. The pilot sees 2,000 small-scale farmers in Kenya's Nandi Hills using the solution to buy and sell goods.