Kacha Digital Financial Service, the pioneering private payment instrument issuer in Ethiopia, has emerged as the winner of the highly anticipated Ethiopian edition of the esteemed Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) for 2023. This global innovation program and competition for start-ups and fintech companies have recognized Kacha as the frontrunner, catapulting them into the spotlight of the financial technology landscape.

Kacha has been awarded a monetary prize of USD 25,000, underscoring its innovative approach to transforming the financial sector in Ethiopia. This substantial reward not only acknowledges their remarkable achievements but also provides a significant boost to their continued growth and development.

With several contenders vying for the top spot, Qena, a formidable participant, secured an impressive second place, earning a well-deserved prize of USD 15,000. Meanwhile, Smile Pay, a noteworthy contender in its own right, clinched third place and received a commendable USD 10,000.

The Visa Everywhere Initiative serves as a global platform that celebrates and encourages groundbreaking ideas and innovative solutions within the fintech realm.

The success of Kacha, along with the achievements of Qena and Smile Pay, highlights the vibrant and burgeoning fintech ecosystem in Ethiopia.

As Ethiopia embraces the digital revolution in the financial sector, Kacha’s victory stands as a testament to the remarkable potential and transformative power of innovative start-ups and fintech companies. With their groundbreaking solutions and unwavering determination, these trailblazers are reshaping the way we perceive and interact with money, propelling Ethiopia into a new era of financial innovation and inclusion.


British International Investment (BII) and FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, have jointly committed up to USD 20 million each to Dashen Bank of Ethiopia. The loan aims to support the country’s agricultural sector, which employs 80 Pct of the population, contributes 39 Pct to the GDP, and generates 90 Pct of its foreign currency from exports. The funding will enable Dashen Bank to provide USD-denominated loans, helping farmers increase productivity in areas such as harvesting, logistics, and processing while boosting export earnings. The financial support will also benefit other agricultural enterprises, including cut flower and coffee producers, promoting innovation, business growth, improved quality and safety standards, and value addition.

This collaboration marks the first foreign investment in Ethiopia’s financial services sector under the new intermediation directive for banks issued by the National Bank of Ethiopia in 2021. By providing long-term funding, BII and FMO aim to catalyze the market, build investor confidence, and mobilize more private capital. The partnership will also support Dashen Bank in enhancing governance, risk management, environmental and social practices, as well as gender equality standards.

Asfaw Alemu, CEO of Dashen Bank, expressed his satisfaction with achieving this milestone and highlighted the significance of the funding for supporting export-oriented agribusinesses in Ethiopia. 

Marnix Monsfort, Director of Financial Institutions at FMO, underlined the importance of attracting foreign direct investments and USD funding to create jobs and foster financial inclusion in rural communities.

This investment not only addresses the need for foreign exchange and capital in Ethiopia but also showcases international confidence in the country’s agricultural potential. It sets the stage for future investments, promoting sustainable financing practices and contributing to Ethiopia’s economic growth and development.


With the goal to provide the EyePay® Network in Ethiopia, IrisGuard established a strategic partnership with the local financial services partner Arifpay. The usage of IrisGuard’s digital payment infrastructure, which only authenticates and processes payments using a person’s iris, is said that it guarantees complete transparency that social support reaches the intended recipients.

The EyePay® Network, which offers proof-of-life for compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) regulations, is indicated that it is one of the most secure and accountable payment platforms currently available. A real-time tracking program reportedly eliminates the possibility of fraud, double-dipping, and duplicate payment by continuously monitoring funds throughout the process.

Imad Malhas, Founder & Managing Director of IrisGuard commented, “We are proud to be part of such a remarkable milestone in Ethiopia with our partners at Arifpay. Ethiopia’s innovative landscape is the perfect stage for our EyePay® Network services and the kind of transparency and accountability levels it brings in the international humanitarian assistance arena. As part of our global expansion plans, we look forward to working with local partners, who share our passion for innovation and for expanding financial inclusion, in new regions across the world.”



FINTEX, the International Exhibition and Conference on Furniture, Interior, and Construction Finishing Products, Technologies, Machineries, Raw Materials, Accessories, and Services, is set to take place from June 15th to 18th, 2023, at the Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa. This event, co-hosted by African Trade-Fair Partners and Prana Events, revolves around the theme “PUTTING BUSINESSES IN THE SPOTLIGHT.”


The Arki Homes Expo is formally launched today at Millennium Hall. It is touted as an opportunity to link constructors, home sellers and buyers, developers, and various institutions.

According to reports, many home builders will share knowledge and experience with expo attendees and visitors about the status of the homes they are currently building, the cost of the homes they plan to build, and the goods and services they require. The expo is scheduled to take place from May 13 to May 15, 2023.

Banks and partner organizations, among the more than one hundred organizations involved in the industry, will take part. It is additionally stated that by merging both governmental and non-governmental institutions, it would give a good opportunity for people who are supposed to operate at the local and national levels to build structural coordination.

Expo is anticipated to feature free training for sales professionals, panel discussions, developmental objectives, and nation-building activities focused on the diaspora.


KEFI Gold and Copper, the gold and copper exploration and development company with projects in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, announced the signing of the Final Umbrella Agreement for the project financing of its Tulu Kapi Gold Project, which is held by Tulu Kapi Gold Mines Share Company.


The Fintech Innovation of the Year Award honors the company, initiative, or person who has upended the African fintech sector. For the second edition of the AfricaTech Awards, VivaTech and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have partnered this year. This program aims to identify and support forward-thinking businesses with an African focus that are developing game-changing innovations in the fields of climate, health, and financial technology sectors.

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