Amazon, an e-commerce company, has introduced a business accelerator for African financial technology firms. It is expanding its goals on the continent and the direction in which they are moving is indicated by the new programme.
The program, which is sponsored by AWS’ Startup Loft Accelerator, will concentrate on fintech and fintech-related firms operating in Africa. Compared to other technological sectors, venture capital funding for African fintech businesses is the highest.
Out of the more than $5 billion invested in African businesses in 2022, fintech startups in the continent raised over $2 billion in venture capital. Early-stage fintech businesses are now being invited by AWS to apply to participate in the AWS FinTech Africa Accelerator’s inaugural class. The deadline for applications is April 27.
AWS established a Johannesburg branch in 2015, and in 2017 it expanded its South African footprint by using AWS Direct Connect to deliver the Amazon Global Network to Africa.
By May 2018, Amazon had expanded Amazon CloudFront to Johannesburg and Cape Town, bringing the total number of AWS’ 138 places of presence worldwide to 141. Additionally, the business started providing AWS WAF, AWS Shield, and Amazon Route 53 through South Africa. Amazon opened its first data facilities in Africa in 2020 in South Africa.
How Anazon Inclusion Will Impact Africa
Targeting emerging tech firms sends a message to Amazon and AWS that they want to forge early alliances with Africa’s future tech behemoths, who will serve as their future target clients. The massive retailer is being forced to look for new venues to expand its consumer base due to slowing revenue and net income. At the 2022 Q4 results call with investors and analysts in February, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy stated, “We’re trying to build a set of relationships that outlast all of us.” Numerous startups as well as significant African enterprises are already AWS subscribers. Including, among others, Absa, Old Mutual, DPO, JUMO, Mukuru, and Travelstart.
The e-commerce giant is highlighting where it sees value in the African market by focusing on supplying digital hardware and software infrastructure via data centres and AWS. Still, it isn’t retail e-commerce. It is not difficult to recognise the pattern associated with (South Africa concentration) when you consider Amazon’s historical interactions with Africa. The US behemoth has resisted expanding its retail operations and brutally effective delivery service to the continent.
Amazon, though, is optimistic about the market for digital services and infrastructure in Africa. That is true for a good reason. According to Xalam Analytics’ study, demand for data centre services in Africa increased two to three times faster than supply in 2018.
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