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To assist African startups, Visa has launched the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator Program.

Visa says this is part of its long-term commitment to promoting economic prosperity and inclusive growth on the continent and that the move follows its previous pledge to invest $1 billion in Africa’s digital transformation.

The Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator program, Visa’s newest project, aims to empower and support Africa’s burgeoning startup community.

The initiative offers knowledge, contacts, technology, and investment funds to support the development and success of fintech businesses across the continent, according to the financial industry behemoth. Alfred F. Kelly Jr., the executive chairman of Visa, made the declaration during the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Africa conference in Marrakech, Morocco.

Up to 40 firms will receive a three-month intensive learning program focusing on company growth and mentorship each year through the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator program. After the program is through, a chosen group of participating companies will receive further funding from Visa, access to Visa’s technology, and other resources to hasten the start of their commercial operations.

Fintech startups from all around Africa will be able to apply for the program starting in July 2023 during two application stages annually. Over 1,000 African fintech businesses competed in the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) competition in Africa in 2022, and the competition’s finalists will be asked to join the accelerator program.

“Africa boasts one of the most vibrant and renowned fintech ecosystems in the world, attracting excellent entrepreneurial talent to a young, rapidly expanding population that has grown up with the internet. According to Alfred F. Kelly Jr., “Our new Fintech Accelerator will deliver knowledge, contacts, and funding to Africa’s greatest fintech businesses so they can flourish at scale.

Visa has recently launched various business initiatives and programs to advance the payments ecosystem in Africa including:

Establishing local operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Sudan
Unveiling the Visa Sub-Saharan Africa Innovation Studio in Nairobi, Kenya
Introducing new technologies such as Tap-to-Phone and Visa Direct
Collaborating with partners to support women’s empowerment and financial literacy.

Startups can present their creative responses to upcoming payment and commerce concerns through the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI), Visa’s international open innovation competition. Since the program’s debut in 2015, approximately 12,000 startups from around the world have applied, many of whom are currently working with Visa or its clients.

In addition to monetary awards, Visa claims that VEI winners get exposure to the company’s wide network of business, venture capital, government, and banking partners.

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