Visa has introduced a fresh initiative called the Africa Fintech Accelerator programme, which aims to support African startups by providing them with expertise, connections, technology, and investment funding.
The initiation of the Africa Fintech Accelerator programme is a result of Visa's recent promise to dedicate US$1 billion towards Africa's digital advancement. This commitment by Visa demonstrates their enduring support for promoting economic progress and inclusive growth across African nations.
The accelerator programme will provide an opportunity for up to 40 startups annually to expedite their growth and development. Through a concentrated three-month educational programme, the startups will receive valuable guidance and mentorship, with a specific emphasis on enhancing their business growth.
Upon completion of the programme, Visa plans to continue its support for fintech growth by making capital investments in selected participating businesses. Additionally, Visa will facilitate the commercial launch of these businesses by granting them access to Visa technology and capabilities, thereby accelerating their entry into the market.
Africa-based fintech startups have the opportunity to apply for the programme through two application phases per year, beginning this month. In 2022, over 1,000 African fintech startups participated in the Visa Everywhere Initiative competition. Finalists from the country editions of this year's competition will receive invitations to join the accelerator programme.
Alfred F. Kelly Jr., executive chairman of Visa, said, “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. Visa has been increasing its investments in Africa for decades and strengthening partnerships throughout the continent to support the next wave of innovation and growth. Our new Fintech Accelerator will bring expertise, connections, and investment to Africa’s best fintech start-ups so they can grow at scale.”