The founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Jack Ma, during last week’s youth connect Africa summit in Kigali made known that he will be undertaking four projects to support African entrepreneurs, young people and efforts of conservation in Africa.

He said, “To achieve win-win situation in Africa, Chinese companies have to build business and develop local partnership in Africa.” Jack Ma added that, “we have to build business here, spending time training and developing local partnership.”

Jack Ma, who doubles as the special advisor of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)  further explained that, partnership is key to building businesses because, you cannot build your own business by your own people in Africa, you have to partner with Africans. He said, “if I come to Africa, I will think about first, how many jobs I can create, how many taxes I can pay, what other things I can do that other companies can’t do, when I leave here, can I also leave experienced Chinese or African experts that stay in Africa and continue business.”

Jack Ma’s projects to support African entrepreneurs, African young people and efforts of conservation are,

  • Supporting 200 African entrepreneurs in the next five years.
  • Working with universities and governments to develop training program for African young people on e-commerce and cloud computing.
  • Setting up a conservation award for conservation rangers.
  • Donating 10 million US dollars to establish a young entrepreneur development fund.

This will really be a great opportunity for Africans in that, foreign companies will train our local folks to run businesses and there would not be the need to spend so much capital and resources in bringing experts from other continents. Also this initiative will prompt young African minds to be creative and innovative.

  The three-day summit, dubbed, “Realizing Africa’s potential” , was organized by the government of Rwanda, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The summit had an attendance of more than 2,500 delegates. Some of the delegates included the president of Rwanda, H.E Paul Kagame, other heads of state, the secretary general of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and many more.

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