As part of its long-term commitment to advancing Africa’s economies and driving inclusive growth, the world's leading digital payments, Visa has announced a $1 billion initiative, Africa Fintech Accelerator Program to support Africa’s Fintech start-ups and entrepreneurs
Recently, the region has witnessed a remarkable surge in entrepreneurial activities, with start-ups emerging as key drivers of economic growth and agents of change by harnessing innovation, leveraging technology, addressing socio-economic challenges as well as creating jobs, and fostering sustainable development.
Some of the leading fintech start-ups in the continent include, among others, South Africa's JUMO with $267 million in funding to date, Nigeria's Opay which has attracted $570 million in investments to date, and Ghana's Chippercash with $302.6 million in investments, as of June 2023.
Visa's Africa Fintech Accelerator will enable up to 40 start-ups each year to accelerate and grow through a three-month intensive learning program focused on business growth and mentoring. Following the program completion, Visa intends to further support fintech growth with capital investment in select participating businesses, while accelerating their commercial launch through access to Visa technology and capabilities.
In the past, the firm has launched several programs to further advance the payments ecosystem in Africa. For example, it unveiled the first dedicated Visa Sub-Saharan Africa Innovation Studio in Nairobi and established local operations in the Congo, Ethiopia and Sudan to help support and strengthen the local financial ecosystem.
It also introduced and expanded new technologies that help African consumers and merchants make and receive digital payments, such as Tap to Phone to turn a simple mobile phone into a point-of-sale terminal, as well as lowered remittance costs through innovative solutions like Visa Direct.