Visa pledges to invest US$1 billion in Africa to accelerate digital transformation

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  • Visa committed to investing US$1 billion in Africa over the next five years
  • Visa will facilitate more accessible access to digital payments as a stepping stone to extending formal financial services for consumers and businesses
  • The funds will also go toward upskilling, talent development, and capacity building, as well as boosting the digitization of economies and enhancing the payment ecosystem via innovations and technology

Visa has committed to investing US$1 billion in Africa over the next five years to support robust, creative, and inclusive economies during the U.S.-Africa Business Forum.

Visa will also facilitate more accessible access to digital payments as a stepping stone to extending formal financial services for consumers and businesses.

Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., chairman and CEO of Visa, presented the pledge at the US-Africa Business Forum in conjunction with the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC. The commitment will help Visa expand operations in Africa and strengthen partnerships with key stakeholders like governments, financial institutions, mobile network carriers, fintech companies, and retailers.

The funds will also go toward upskilling, talent development, and capacity building, as well as boosting the digitization of economies and enhancing the payment ecosystem via innovations and technology.

“Visa has been investing in Africa over several decades to build a truly local enterprise, and today our dedication to the continent is as firm and unshakable as ever. Visa supports digital commerce and money transfer every day in every nation on the continent, and Africa continues to be a key component of Visa’s long-term growth strategies,” said Kelly.

We are eager to keep collaborating closely with our partners to develop the financial ecosystem, speed up digitization, and establish resilient, creative, and inclusive economies that will foster shared opportunity and enhance the digital economy in Africa.

These investments will make it possible to take advantage of more possibilities to increase financial inclusion, consistent with Visa’s corporate mission to be the most incredible way to pay and get paid.

Through its business operations and community initiatives, Visa is committed to fostering small- and women-owned businesses throughout Africa.

More than 40 million businesses in Africa do not accept digital payments, and an estimated 500 million people do not have access to formal financial services. Less than 50% of the adult population in Africa has made or received digital payments.

These investments will make it possible to take advantage of more possibilities to increase financial inclusion, consistent with Visa’s corporate mission to be the most incredible way to pay and get paid.

Through its business operations and community initiatives, Visa is committed to fostering small- and women-owned businesses throughout Africa.

Leila Serhan, Senior Vice President, Visa North Africa Levant and Pakistan, stated that, “expanding financial inclusion is vital to long-term economic growth” and that “we are happy to have collaborated with financial and public sector partners to establish new projects such as She’s Next.”

“We look forward to launching new ideas created for businesses and consumers across Africa while continuing to support programmes that encourage inclusion and prosperity.”

Visa Innovation Studio Nairobi[Photo/Techcabal]
To boost its expansion into Africa, Visa recently made significant strategic investments, including:

  • For the first time, local businesses are being established in Ethiopia, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to support and enhance the regional financial ecosystem. Visa facilitates payments in all 54 nations from its 10 offices across Africa.
  • Launching the first specifically designated Visa Sub-Saharan Africa Innovation Studio in Nairobi, Kenya, to offer an advanced setting for bringing clients and partners together to develop payment and commerce solutions ready for the future jointly.
  • Introducing and advancing new technologies that enable digital payment processing for African consumers and businesses, such as Tap to Phone, which transforms a regular mobile phone into a payment device, and reducing remittance costs with creative solutions such as Visa direct.
  • Making Visa the preferred fintech partner by collaborating with forward-thinking businesses and entrepreneurs, conducting the Visa Everywhere Initiative programme, launching specific national programmes in Ethiopia and Egypt, and recruiting participants from all over Africa.
  • In conjunction with financial partners, launching new initiatives to boost women’s empowerment, such as She’s Next, provide finance, mentorship, and networking opportunities to female entrepreneurs running expanding SMBs in Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, and South Africa.
  • Developing financial literacy with partners in a number of languages, including the first Arabic edition of Practical Money Skills in Egypt.
  • Establishing Visa as the preferred fintech partner, collaborating with inventive financial technology entrepreneurs and companies and managing the Visa Everywhere Initiative programme, which launched dedicated country programmes in Ethiopia and Egypt, with the global programme attracting participants from across Africa.
  • Together with financial partners, we are launching new programmes to encourage women’s empowerment, such as She’s Next, which provides finance, mentoring, and networking opportunities to female entrepreneurs heading expanding SMBs in Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, and South Africa.
  • Working with partners to develop financial literacy in various languages, including the first Arabic edition of Practical Money Skills in Egypt.

Read: Sub-Saharan African showing strong potential of E-commerce growth: VISA

Maingi Gichuku is passionate about helping African businesses grow by offering technology solutions. With a BSC in Zoology and biochemistry, Gichuku yearns for an Africa that can find solutions to its challenges. My drive is to see an economically dynamic Africa and embrace its populations by creating opportunities cutting across the social and economic strata.

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