Visa Launches Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator Program to Empower Startups in Africa

The initiative follows Visa's recent commitment to invest $1 billion in Africa's digital transformation, and the company says this is its long-term dedication to fostering economic advancement and inclusive growth on the continent.

Visa has unveiled its latest initiative, the Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator program, aimed at supporting and empowering Africa’s expanding startup ecosystem.

According to the fintech giant, the program offers expertise, connections, technology, and investment funding to enable the growth and success of fintech startups across the continent. The announcement was made by Visa Executive Chairman, Alfred F. Kelly Jr., during the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Africa event held in Marrakech, Morocco.

The Visa Africa Fintech Accelerator program will provide up to 40 startups annually with a three-month intensive learning program focused on business growth and mentorship. Upon completing the program, select participating businesses will receive further support from Visa through capital investment, along with access to Visa’s technology and capabilities, to accelerate their commercial launch.

The initiative follows Visa’s recent commitment to invest $1 billion in Africa’s digital transformation, and the company says this is its long-term dedication to fostering economic advancement and inclusive growth on the continent.

Starting from July 2023, fintech startups from across Africa can apply for the program during two application phases each year. Finalists from the Africa country editions of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) competition, which saw over 1,000 African fintech startups participating in 2022, will be invited to join the accelerator program.


“Africa has one of the most exciting and admired fintech ecosystems in the world, bringing outstanding entrepreneurial talent to a young digital-first population that is growing fast. Our new Fintech Accelerator will bring expertise, connections, and investment to Africa’s best fintech startups so they can grow at scale,” said Alfred F. Kelly Jr.


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

The Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI), Visa’s global open innovation competition, serves as a platform for startups to pitch their innovative solutions to address future payment and commerce challenges. Since its launch in 2015, the program has attracted nearly 12,000 startup applicants globally, many of whom now collaborate with Visa or its clients.

According to Visa, VEI winners not only receive monetary prizes but also gain exposure to Visa’s extensive network of partners in the banking, merchant, venture capital, and government sectors.



 Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI)

Visa Everywhere Initiative is Visa’s global open innovation competition that sees startups pitch their innovative solutions to solve tomorrow’s payment and commerce challenges. The program first launched in the U.S. in 2015, and quickly expanded into a global program. To date, nearly 12,000 startups have applied to the program — many of which now work with Visa or its clients.




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