Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Digital Inclusion

Microsoft Teams Up With Ecobank for African Digital Transformation Strategy

Article Image
Microsoft and Ecobank, the Pan-African bank, have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a joint strategy to digitize financial services for users across a variety of sectors.

The agreement, signed in Lomé, Togo, focuses on societal enablement through the modernization of conventionally analogue financial services. While payments and mobile money initiatives inevitably feature high on the list of priorities, it is the inclusion of digital literacy and education objectives that really catch the eye.

According to Ecobank, the MoU is designed to "modernise and raise the standards of the continent's major cities through state of the art digital solutions." Naturally it will be the quickest wins the partnership focuses on first, and it has identified educational funding as ripe for digitization. Bursary disbursements and school fee collection are top of the list, with a program dedicated to comprehensive e-skills and digital literacy is due to be implemented a little further down the line.

Principally, the agreement at its heart is intended to make small business ownership, fee payment and revenue collection as digital as possible. In theory, an emphasis on this, and the provision of enabling technologies, has the potential to deliver an epoch-defining boost to the economies of countries across the continent, and for the financial proposition of Africa on the whole.

"At Microsoft, our aim is to help societies digitally transform, from the single consumer to entire government departments," said Amr Kamel, GM at Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). "Any nation properly supported by technology can transform into an intelligent ecosystem, capable of engaging with its citizens, empowering employees and optimizing operations to vastly improve lives."

Microsoft and Ecobank staff looking delighted at the MoU signing.
Microsoft and Ecobank staff looking delighted at the MoU signing.

It wouldn't be unreasonable to say MoUs have a history of promising big and under-delivering. Microsoft and Ecobank have certainly talked a good game with this announcement, and threaten to actually deliver positive change for Africa -- but having gone public with their intentions, the pressure is now on.

The slightly worrying observation of the MoU is that there has been no indication of expected launch dates for new services, so it will be one that we keep a close eye on for developments.

— Tim Skinner, Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Africa can leverage GenAI for economic growth – Microsoft

A whitepaper on generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) and the future of work has found that the African continent, with its young population, can leverage AI to drive economic growth.

Registration opens for Africa Tech Festival 2024

Registration has opened for the 2024 edition of Africa Tech Festival, the continent's leading platform for technology innovators, specialists and thought leaders.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Cyber Revolution Summit
August 9, 2024
Gaborone, Botswana
Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives


Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives


How e-mobility could transform Africa's transport sector

By Francis Hook

ICT analyst Francis Hook delves into Africa's e-mobility sector and unpacks the challenges faced locally and the benefits the move to electric vehicles could bring to urban transport systems.


Omdia View: April 2024

By Omdia Analysts

April 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included a license for Starlink in Ghana, new mobile termination rates in Ethiopia, and 6G trials in Bahrain – that and more in the latest Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id test-002