Gateway Academy

e-Learning for financial inclusion

data, web, mobile applications, knowledge management, learning systems


The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and the Mastercard Foundation (MCF) work together to improve access to financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2016, the partnership tackled the issue at the institution level by creating an online learning academy for those working in financial services. By connecting local staff to online training programs from a variety of providers, banks and financial institutions would build their teams’ knowledge and skills around financial inclusion to benefit the communities they served.


We partnered with Humentum (learning experts) and Paradem (tech experts) to develop and launch Gateway Academy (GA, for character count’s sake). From the project’s weeklong kickoff at our DC office, we’ve worked closely with CGAP to form one project team, doing our best to work across time zones spanning Seattle to Nairobi. Throughout the development process, members of the GA team have engaged external consultants and stakeholders, both virtually and on-location in GA’s first roll-out countries (Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia). Despite being spread around the world, we’ve been able to make sure that everyone feels ownership of, and excited about, GA and the prospects it brings by communicating openly and actively involving users in the development process.

We developed a three-phase approach to the development and roll-out of Gateway Academy. In the primary Demo phase, we analysed the current training market for financial services in the region and conducted design workshops with financial service providers to facilitate discussion around e-learning needs and current practices. From here, we developed the first iteration of Gateway Academy’s cloud-based online learning platform (including options for accessibility in low-bandwidth contexts) and onboarded training service providers and learners.


Participant feedback on the platform’s functionality and content allowed us to refine Gateway Academy for the Beta phase launch in 2017, which is currently ongoing. During the Beta phase, we’ve expanded course access to a greater number of financial service providers and provided content that’s better targeted to the needs of learners in the region. This phase will conclude in 2018, with the next iteration of the platform released in the Launch phase shortly thereafter.

To learn more, visit Gateway Academy.

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