“Digital Money is Better” Project to Increase Financial Inclusion in Angola

The Embassy of the United States of America, in partnership with mobile operator Africell, has launched the “Digital Money is Better” project to highlight the importance that digital money can play in improving the lives of Angolans by making it easier to send and receive money. The project has a funding of almost 5 million dollars financed through the US Government Agency for International Development (USAID), and will be implemented in partnership with the mobile operator Africell, providing a similar contribution to the project, in addition to its existing mobile network.

The project will focus not only on improving and expanding the use of mobile money applications, but also on supporting the Government of Angola to increase financial inclusion. The official launch of the project took place at the headquarters of mobile operator Africell in Luanda and was attended by the US Ambassador to Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe, Tulinabo S. Mushingi, and senior officials. Mushingi, and senior dignitaries of the Angolan government, the Deputy Administrator of USAID for Southern Africa, Maria Price Detherage, the Senior Advisor of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, Danae Pauli, Africell CEO Dr. Gonçalo Farias, as well as representatives from international agencies, civil society, the private sector and local and international media.

This project will empower the Angolan population to make and receive payments conveniently at their fingertips, bridging the gap between individuals and financial services

The “Digital Money is Better” project (Dinheiro Digital é Melhor- DDM in Portuguese) is part of the US Government’s contribution to the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII) initiative, a G7 initiative to mobilize hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure for low- and middle-income countries. The project builds on the commitment made by President Biden at the 2023 G7 Summit to support the development of the Lobito Corridor and existing funding from the US International Development Finance Corporation to Africell in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. Supporting investment in secure and efficient mobile network infrastructure is an extremely important part of PGII, as emerging 5G networks and digital financial applications related to digital money have a major impact on development.

During his speech at the event, the US Ambassador underlined that “Digital financial tools and virtual money have emerged as powerful enablers, breaking down barriers and reaching those previously excluded from the formal financial system.” However, he added: “Unfortunately, this revolution in the way we access and use financial services has not yet fully reached Angola.”

The “Digital Money is Better” project seeks to change this by empowering communities in Angola to improve their personal finances and facilitating access to financial services through their cell phones. The Ambassador also stressed that “this project will empower the Angolan population to make and receive payments conveniently at their fingertips, bridging the gap between individuals and financial services”.

Women have less access to financial services than men, and one of the reasons is the inconvenience of entering a bank. Through the project launched today, Angolan women will be able to take control of their finances. For small and medium businesses, using digital money apps to manage sales and payments is a proven tool to increase the growth of these businesses.

The U.S. Government is confident that this partnership between the United States, Africell, and the Angolan Government, celebrated today, will have a lasting impact and continue to produce sustainable, life-changing results for the Angolan people.

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