A beacon of hope for financial inclusion across Africa has emerged four African financial giants – Coronation Group, Access Holdings Plc, Safaricom Plc and M-Pesa Africa – have announced a groundbreaking collaboration aimed at streamlining and expanding remittance access across the continent.

This strategic alliance positions them to empower millions, foster financial inclusion, and propel economic growth.

The alliance seeks to establish a vital remittance corridor connecting East and West Africa, effectively bridging some of the continent's most potent economies.

This will be achieved by merging Access Holdings' robust Pan-African banking infrastructure, encompassing 14 countries, with Coronation Group's technologically advanced financial services network in West Africa.

Additionally, M-Pesa, Africa's leading mobile money and digital payments platform boasting over 60 million customers and $1 billion daily transaction value, will be integrated alongside Safaricom, Kenya's top telecommunications and financial services provider with over 32 million active M-Pesa users.

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Chairman of both Access Holdings and Coronation Group, expressed his belief in the transformative potential of this partnership.

"We stand at the threshold of an extraordinary journey, one poised to shape the financial landscape of Africa," he declared.

"This partnership encompasses more than a convergence of capabilities; it signifies the fusion of collective expertise, resources, and an unwavering commitment to drive financial inclusion, empowering millions throughout Africa."

"Through collaborative innovation, shared vision, and resolute determination, we are primed to unlock unprecedented opportunities, transform lives, and make an indelible imprint on Africa's trajectory," he added.

Amplifying this sentiment, Bolaji Agbede, Acting Group CEO of Access Holdings Plc, emphasized, "Our conviction remains steadfast – this collaboration has the power to recalibrate the trajectory of financial services in Africa. By combining our strengths with those of Coronation Group, Safaricom and M-Pesa Africa, we will deliver on our promise of sustainably impacting our stakeholders, empowering individuals, and significantly contributing to the continent's economic ascension."

Highlighting the current trade disparity within Africa, Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, MD of M-Pesa Africa, noted, "African countries trade more with nations outside the continent than within themselves. Initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) seek to address the lack of intra-continental trade. This partnership with Safaricom, Coronation Group and Access Holdings seeks to explore remittance corridors between East and West Africa bringing alive the AfCFTA spirit."

Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom, echoed the importance of the collaboration, stating, "We will be collaborating with M-PESA Africa, Coronation Group and Access Holdings to explore secure, convenient, and affordable remittance solutions that will connect our customers to opportunities in West Africa. Africa remains an underserved region, especially for remittances within the continent making such partnerships crucial in closing the gap."

The initial phase will focus on key markets like Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Tanzania. Finalization is subject to customary commercial discussions, definitive agreements, internal corporate approvals, and adherence to relevant legal and regulatory processes.

All parties remain committed to upholding regulatory frameworks and fostering an enabling environment that empowers individuals and businesses, ultimately contributing significantly to Africa's economic progress.