Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing division of the world’s largest e-commerce retailer Amazon, continues to strengthen its presence in Africa with a call for applications from early-stage startups to participate in their first edition of the AWS FinTech Africa Accelerator.
This program is hosted by AWS’ globally recognized startup Loft Accelerator. However, unlike other cohorts, this edition focuses on fintech and fintech-related startups operating in Africa.
In 2022, fintech startups in Africa raised over USD 2 billion in venture funding, keeping the African fintech industry the top recipient of venture funding on the continent in recent years, according to Briter Bridges.
The first office on the continent opened in 2004 with the opening of a development centre in South Africa. Since then, Amazon Web Services has opened several offices and data centres as the company intends to become the leading cloud service provider in Africa.
The company announced its Africa region back in 2018 and started operations two years later, in 2020. The AWS Africa Region is headquartered in Cape Town. The AWS Regions operate across a number of Availability Zones, with a centre in each zone and geographically distant enough that an issue in one centre will not impact the AWS system or its customers. The Africa Region is currently served by three AWS data centres, two in South Africa and the third in Nairobi, Kenya.
Amazon Web Services has plans to continue evolving across Africa to best serve the needs of the continent’s rapidly growing industrial and data storage needs.
The AWS FinTech Africa Accelerator is an equity-free program designed to work directly with CEOs and CTOs, allowing them a wide variety of resources including strategy, technical team management, product development, and helping founders prepare for the complexities of fundraising.
The startups participate in the AWS Activate program, which provides up to $25,000 in Activate Credits to founders, among many other services. Founders also participate in a series of industry expert-led workshops and one-on-one sessions that address the specific challenges and opportunities each startup faces.