During the US-Africa Business Forum, Visa announced a $1 billion investment in Africa over the following five years to support robust, creative, and inclusive economies all throughout the continent. By increasing its investments, Visa is demonstrating its long-term commitment to the continent’s economic potential and enabling more people and businesses to use digital payments as a stepping stone to more formal financial services.
At the US-Africa Business Forum, which coincided with the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC, Visa Chairman and CEO Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., made the commitment. The donation will assist Visa in growing its business in Africa and in fortifying ties with key stakeholders like governments, financial institutions, mobile network carriers, fintech companies, and retailers.
The investments will also focus on strengthening the payment ecosystem through new innovations and technologies, supporting digitization of economies, and investing in upskilling, talent development and capacity building.
Visa has been investing in Africa for several decades to grow a truly local business, and today our commitment to the continent remains as firm and unwavering as ever. Every day, Visa supports digital commerce and money movement in every country across the continent, and Africa remains central to Visa’s long-term growth plans. We look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners to advance the financial ecosystem, accelerate digitization and to build resilient, innovative, and inclusive economies that will create shared opportunity and further spur Africa’s digital economy.Al Kelly, Chairman and CEO, Visa, Inc. (2022)
These investments will enable additional opportunities to expand financial inclusion, in line with Visa’s corporate purpose of being the best way to pay and be paid. Through its operations and community programs, Visa is committed to empowering small and female-led businesses in Africa. Today, an estimated 500 million Africans lack access to formal financial services; less than half of the adult population in Africa has made or received digital payments; and more than 40 million merchants do not accept digital payments.
Visa has recently made significant strategic investments to accelerate its Africa expansion, including
- The first-ever establishment of local operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Sudan to support and strengthen the local financial ecosystem. Visa has ten African offices from which it accepts payments in all 54 countries.
- The first dedicated Visa Sub-Saharan Africa Innovation Studio will be opened in Nairobi, Kenya, to provide a cutting-edge environment for clients and partners to collaborate on future-ready payment and commerce solutions.
- Introducing and expanding new technologies that assist African consumers and merchants in making and receiving digital payments, such as Tap to Phone, which can transform a simple mobile phone into a payment device, and lowering remittance costs through innovative solutions such as
- Establishing Visa as the preferred fintech partner, collaborating with innovative financial technology companies and entrepreneurs, and managing the Visa Everywhere Initiative program, which launched dedicated country programs in Ethiopia and Egypt, with the global program attracting participants from across Africa.
- Together with financial partners, we are launching new programs to support women’s empowerment, such as She’s Next, which provides funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities to female entrepreneurs leading growing SMBs in Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, and South Africa.
- Working with partners to advance financial literacy in a variety of languages, including the first Arabic edition of Practical Money Skills in Egypt.