Jack Ma, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, spent this week in East Africa in his first visit to the continent. He expressed his belief in the potential of the continent and its young population.
Ma, in the company of other Chinese billionaires and investors, made his first stop in Nairobi where he delivered a keynote speech. The majority of the speech surrounded the untapped opportunities in the continent as well as the future of globalization.
After his visit to Kenya, the billionaire’s next stop was at the annual Youth Connekt Africa summit in Kigali. It was at the summit, also attended by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, in Kigali that Jack Ma announced four groundbreaking projects.
For the first project, Ma invited 200 African young entrepreneurs to work at Alibaba headquarters. This will be aimed at them gaining valuable experience in fields including e-commerce, Artificial intelligence, as well as the Internet.
They will come back to Africa to develop their businesses and help others grow their businesses – Ma said
For the second one, he said that Alibaba will work with Universities in Africa and governments to train specific courses around the same areas.
The third Project, which he said is a partnership between Alibaba and Paradise Foundation of China, will deal with promoting and supporting Environmental conservation efforts in Africa especially protecting elephants and other precious animals.
We will give a prize to 50 Rangers for the next ten years to thank them for their tireless efforts in conservation – Ma said
In the Fourth and last project, to show his confidence in Africa, Ma pledged to invest in the continent’s youth. He hinted on the fact that the continent has the youngest population in the entire world – with an average age of 19.
I wanna show my confidence in Africa..so I start with my foundation to Africa entrepreneurship fund to support young entrepreneurs to realize their dreams – Ma
He, therefore, promised to invest USD 10 Million in the fund. Adding that “I believe more people will come in to support the fund and make it bigger.”
In his keynote speech in Kenya, he encouraged Africa to speed up. This will allow it to take advantage of the countless opportunities the continent possess. He also discouraged Africans from worrying about anything as it is the same “disease” slowing down
He also discouraged Africans from worrying about anything as it is the same “disease” slowing down Europeans and Americans. This, he said it with the re-assurance that Africa has nothing to lose.
Credit: Some of the content in this write-up is sourced from KT Press