Visa to accelerate Africa’s digital transformation with $1 billion investment

Global payments company Visa has pledged to invest $1 billion in Africa to accelerate digital transformation over the next five years.

This was revealed by company Chairman and CEO Alfred F. Kelly, Jr during the U.S. African Business Forum in Washington D.C attended by nearly 50 leaders from Africa. Kelly said that the company is open to deepening collaboration with strategic partners including governments, financial institutions, mobile network operators, fintechs and merchants.

“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,” Kelly said,  “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.”

This pledge is in line with Visa’s commitment to empowering small- and women-led entrepreneurship in Africa through its operations and community programs. According to the money remittance company, an estimated 500 million people in Africa are without access to formal financial services. Still, less than 50% of the adult population made or received digital payments in Africa, and more than 40 million merchants do not accept digital payments.

Such discrepancies provide companies such as Visa with a huge opportunity for growth as more people adopt digital life.

Visa joins other tech giants who have committed to invest in Africa. In October this year, Huawei also announced plans to invest approximately KES.30 billion in various initiatives that will advance industrial digital transformation in Africa and Middle East region.

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Simon W Nderitu

Simon is a tech enthusiast who keeps a close eye on emerging technologies, startups and the general business environment. You will often catch him totally immersed and drooling over Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, IoT and just about any other tech that promises to revolutionize the way we live. Send tips to

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