Visa, the exclusive digital payment service provider of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021, is creating new experiences for cardholders and football fans at this year’s competition in Cameroon, and looking to further help expand access to the financial system in Africa.

Visa currently serves 18 Francophone and Portuguese speaking countries in Western and Central Africa and is present across all subregions in Africa.

The company is offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience for children aged between 8-12, accompanied by a guardian, the opportunity to participate in the Player Escort Programme and walk out on the field before the AFCON matches with a professional football player.

These spaces are being allocated through a series of activities including promotions with Visa and a partnership with Green Girls, an organization that trains African girls on how to generate energy from the sun and waste in rural communities.

In addition, Visa cardholders and football fans who visit the stadium during the tournament in Cameroon and pay with their Visa credentials have an opportunity to win AFCON memorabilia signed by international soccer star, Didier Drogba.

Aida Diarra, senior vice-president: sub-Saharan Africa at Visa, comments: “Visa has a long history of supporting world-class football and this association builds on our mission to bring the best of our sponsorship experience to Africa. We are thrilled to offer Africans a unique opportunity to enjoy all the excitement of AFCON, and to be the exclusive payments provider at this exciting tournament.

“Africans love football and our sponsorship allows us to bring that passion together and support local business throughout the francophone region. It also provides us with an exceptional platform to deliver the benefits of Visa’s payment technology to our local communities, clients, partners and fans as we all come together to support the best of African football,” Diarra adds.

The Africa Cup of Nations is a biennial international men’s football championship of Africa, organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). This edition of the tournament is taking place from 9 January to 6 February 2022.