Tanzania gets $4.8m mobile banking grant

Nov 17, 2010

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has granted Vodacom Tanzania a $4.8 million (€3.54 million) fund to help boost mobile banking in the country.

According to the Daily News, the money will be used to encourage the take-up of the Vodafone M-Pesa service, which is currently used by around five million people across the nation. It enables customers to transfer money using their mobile handsets and, according to Vodacom, is a vital part of promoting financial inclusion in Tanzania, which has a population of approximately 40 million.

"Vodacom will use the money to increase the awareness and service benefits of Vodafone M-Pesa specifically to those living in remote parts of the country," Managing Director of the company Dietlof Mare was quoted by the news source as saying. M-Pesa is also in use in Kenya by mobile phone network Safaricom, which, according to Bloomberg, recently announced it is to begin offering some customers the opportunity to apply for short-term loans.