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Visa Foundation Aims to Increase Women’s Participation in Africa’s Digital Economy

Visa Foundation has announced its plan to donate $5 million in grants and impact investments to support women’s participation in the digital economy in Africa. This initiative is part of the Women in the Digital Economy Fund, which was launched during Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to Africa. The goal of the fund is to provide equitable digital financial access to women entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa. It follows Visa’s recent pledge to invest $1 billion in Africa.

The Visa Foundation’s contribution will focus on increasing access to financial solutions and other services for women entrepreneurs to address the digital gender divide and support women’s full participation in the 21st-century economy. Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa at Visa, expressed the company’s commitment to help address gender disparity and connect more people to the global economy through expanding access to digital financial services.

Currently, an estimated 500 million people in Africa do not have access to formal financial services, and less than 50% of the adult population in Africa made or received digital payments. More than 40 million merchants do not accept digital payments.

Visa and Visa Foundation say they are dedicated to expanding financial inclusion by empowering small-business and women-led entrepreneurship in Africa through various programs.

Visa Foundation has committed over $200 million to 50+ countries since its inception, and its support has helped partner organizations reach over 2 million SMBs globally. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the Foundation has granted notable investments to AfriLabs, Aruwa Capital, and TLCom TIDE Africa Fund to support women-led SMBs, provide financing, and invest in African companies that use technology to solve societal challenges.

Visa has also introduced various initiatives to support women’s empowerment, including partnerships with Vodacom in the DRC, the Hand in Hand Kenya Micro-Enterprise Success Program, and She’s Next. These initiatives bring funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities to female entrepreneurs leading growing SMBs in Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, and South Africa.

Summary:

InformationNumbers
Visa Foundation donation in grants and impact investments$5 million
People in Africa without access to formal financial services>500 million
% of adult population in Africa that made/received digital payments<50%
Visa’s recent pledge to invest in Africa$1 billion
Visa Foundation’s total commitment to 50+ countries>$200 million
Notable grants and investments in Sub-Saharan AfricaAfriLabs, Aruwa Capital, TLCom TIDE Africa Fund
Visa’s initiatives to support women’s empowermentVodacom (DRC), Hand in Hand Kenya Micro-Enterprise Success Program, She’s Next

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