MasterCard Foundation to Expand Support to Rwanda

Jul 2015
Rwanda, July, 14 2015 - MasterCard Foundation looks to expand its operations in Rwanda given the country's ambitious poverty reduction programmes and support to philanthropists willing to make a difference, the Foundation's President and Chief Executive Officer has said.

Reeta Roy made the revelation yesterday, shortly after her and a delegation she is leading on a five-day visit in the country met President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro.

The MasterCard delegation is in the country to assess the impact of the foundation's projects.

It includes the Foundation's board members; President Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana; Don Morrison, former Chief Operations Officer of Blackberry and Jendayi Frazer, former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Apart from Reeta Roy, other staff members of the Foundation on the delegation currently in Rwanda include Ann Miles, the director for financial inclusion; Jason Reindorp, the Director for Communications; and Christine Levine, the Executive Assistant.

Their meeting with the President focused on the development needs of Rwanda, including the role of education and financial inclusion in transforming the country.

"Rwanda is a remarkable country to work in; it is a country which has set very ambitious development targets and has made a substantial contribution to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)," she said.

Based in Toronto, Canada, the MasterCard Foundation works with different organisations to provide greater access to education, skills training, and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As one of the largest, independent foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion in order to alleviate poverty.

The Foundation has committed $50 million (about Rwf36 billion) to projects in Rwanda in the areas of education, ICT, agriculture and microfinance.

Its partners in the country are mostly non-governmental organisations (NGOs), including FAWE Girls School, where 1,200 girl students will be funded to complete their education at both secondary and university levels in Rwanda.

Other partners include Akazi Kanoze programme which provides secondary school students from poor communities with work readiness skills, Techno Serve which provides young people living in rural areas with training and access to employment opportunities in the agricultural sector, as well as Care Canada which enhances community savings based groups to provide financial services and livelihoods support for vulnerable members of the population such as women and girls.

"We have been very pleased with the strong support of the government, the partnership of the government, but most importantly to see the results of what the transformation of education can bring to young people, to their families, and what financial inclusion, such as access to savings, access to credit can mean for families, especially families in rural areas which is the main focus for our Foundation," Roy said.

The Minister of State in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Albert Nsengiyumva, accompanied Roy and her delegation to meet the President yesterday.

He said the Rwandan government has sought more cooperation with the Foundation to expand its services in the country.

"We are looking at how we (the government) can cooperate with MasterCard Foundation to expand their programmes in the country so they can benefit more people. The Foundation has been working with mostly NGOs, but we want it to partner more with the government to expand their activities to more areas," he said.

Nsengiyumva lauded the Foundation's partnerships in both formal and financial literacy education, which are crucial for job creation and employment, especially among the youths.

Roy said the MasterCard Foundation is willing to expand its help to more young people in Rwanda in line with its goals to promote the area of education and financial inclusion.

"We are very eager to find new opportunities, to expand the work and to expand the impact in the lives of people who need it most," she said.

Source : allAfrica

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