Visa pledged to invest $1 billion into Africa over the course of the next five years to advance economies in countries across the continent, according to a release published on Wednesday.
“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,” said Visa CEO and Chairman Al Kelly. “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 build resilient, innovative and inclusive economies that will create shared opportunity and further spur Africa’s digital economy.”
Kelly outlined the company's pledge during the US-Africa Business Forum, which took place during the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. The pledge aims to further Visa's operations in Africa, as well as strengthen ties with strategic partners such as governments, financial institutions, mobile network operators and merchants.
Visa also recently established local operations for the first time in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Sudan, as well as completed the Saharan Africa Innovation Studio in Nairobi, Kenya. Visa also launched programs to support female empowerment and entrepreneurship in Egypt, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa, as well as worked to advance financial literacy in multiple languages, such as the first Arabic version of Practical Money Skills in Egypt.
“Africa is experiencing an unprecedented digital acceleration, with a growing number of consumers, merchants and businesses realizing the benefits of secure and convenient digital payments to fuel commerce and money movement,” said Visa Sub-Saharan Africa Senior Vice President Aida Diarra. “Over the past year, Visa has continued growing our investment in Africa, through new offices, new innovations and solutions and programs that are directly supporting financial inclusion. The investment pledge outlines our long-term commitment to Africa and the work we will do to help advance the financial ecosystem.”