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Visa to invest $1 Billion in Africa

Global payments giant Visa says it will invest $1 billion by 2027 to expand its investments in Africa amidst a digital payments boom on the continent.

By Anna B Kiwanuka

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Visa Inc. will invest $1 billion in its business across Africa as the technology giant seeks to push the adoption of digital payments across the continent.

According to Bloomberg, Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly stated during the U.S-Africa Business Forum in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, that the investment will be spread over five years. The forum is now taking place alongside the US-Africa Leaders Summit, which drew about 50 heads of state and senior Government officials from African countries to address issues related to Covid-19, food security, and the climate crisis.

The CEO said in a statement, “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.” 

For Visa, there’s a business imperative, investors have grown increasingly worried about the firm’s growth prospects in developed markets like the US, where digital payments are already widely adopted. That’s why the firm has sought to increase its presence in emerging markets.

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After recently establishing local operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Sudan, the company now has 10 offices around Africa. The business also launched its first innovation studio on the continent earlier this year in Nairobi.

“Africa is an enormous opportunity for us. There are about 800 million people in Africa, about 500 million of them are yet to be banked,” President Ryan McInerney, who will take over as CEO next year, told investors last month.

Visa also emphasized that the opportunity lies in the majority of Africa’s adult population who haven’t made or received digital payments yet, as well as the more than 40 million merchants there that don’t accept digital payments. 

Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President for Visa in Sub-Saharan Africa, also commented, “Over the past year Visa has continued growing our investment in Africa. The investment pledge outlines our long-term commitment to Africa.”


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