March 13 , 2021
Eth-Switch, the company owned by a consortium of all banks including the National Bank of Ethiopia, which operates the national payment switch, received a 2.3-million-dollar grant from the African Development Bank (AfDB). The grant will be used to facilitate the design and use of digital financial services, including the digital distribution of payments such as social benefits, pensions and other government payments, e-commerce, the transport system and utility bills. The project will be implemented over a three-year period. The grant is resourced from the special fund of the Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), a pan-African initiative that aims to facilitate digital financial inclusion for an estimated 332 million of the unbanked population across the African continent, almost two-thirds of whom are women. "The Eth-Switch project is braced to change the digital payments landscape in Ethiopia, and ADFI is happy to invest toward that impact,” said Sheila Okiro, fund coordinator at ADFI, which was launched in June 2019 in partnership with the French Development Agency; the governments of France and Luxembourg; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and the AfDB, which also hosts the fund.
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