The Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Visa and Shega are collaborating to promote and drive digitalization and support fintechs through awareness of the Visa Everywhere Initiative
Addis Ababa – May 3, 2021 – The Ethiopian Government, through the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MINT), Visa, the global payments technology company and Shega Media and Technology PLC, an Addis Ababa based digital media and data company that covers the innovation, technology and startup ecosystem in Ethiopia, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote and drive digitization and support fintechs through awareness of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) 2021.
Through this partnership, MINT and Visa are collaborating to explore areas of joint partnerships including training, capacity building and digitization opportunities in the country while Shega is amplifying the VEI 2021 to their communities in Ethiopia.
H.E Dr. Ahmedin Mohammed, State Minister for Ministry of Innovation and Technology said: “The President and the government believe that Innovation and Technology play a vital role in achieving financial inclusion. To this end, we have a robust ‘Digital Ethiopia 2025 Strategy’ that outlines the goal to pursue digitization as a key measure to make payments mechanisms widely available to the public, government and businesses. We are happy to collaborate with Visa to help our fintechs bring innovative new payments solutions and options to the Ethiopian population.”
Aida Diarra, Senior Vice President & Group Country Manager for Visa in SSA, said: “The partnership highlights our commitment to Ethiopia and its people. Ethiopia is steadily making strides in building an ecosystem that aids fintechs. At Visa, it’s our constant endeavour to support fintechs who are building solutions that power seamless money movement everywhere. Through the Visa Everywhere Initiative, we seek to empower promising Ethiopian fintechs that aim to make a difference to the way Ethiopia pays. We are happy to be working with the government and Shega in promoting this initiative that will help accelerate payment innovation and bringing solutions to the market that enhances the consumer and merchant payment experiences.”
“The main demographic of our contents and initiatives are young Ethiopians who are university students and graduates, professionals, developers, entrepreneurs as well as startups, tech companies, investors, support organizations and regulators. The vision of Shega is to enable and catalyze Ethiopian Tech and Startup space. We capitalize on our understanding of the ecosystem, the community we have built and the data we have collected and curated and partner with various organizations such as Visa to support specific projects such as VEI,” said Anteneh Tesfaye, Founder and CEO – Shega.
The Visa Everywhere Initiative, is a global, open innovation program that tasks start-ups and fintechs to bring their fresh thinking to solve real business problems. These solutions range from growing digital payment awareness and usage to increasing access to credit or scaling commercial payments.
The Ethiopia competition launched on February 18th, 2021 and closed on April 9th, 2021 with 59 entries. A winner will be announced on May 10th, 2021 and will automatically be entered as one of the top 5 finalists for the CEMEA region to compete in the regional event that will be livestreamed on TechCrunch, Visa’s global media partner for the initiative.