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Jack Ma Launches Alibaba’s Africa Electronic World Trade Platform In Rwanda

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Chinese Billionaire and Founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, has launched the first eWTP (electronic world trade platform) in Africa at a colourful ceremony in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.

The eWTP will strengthen Rwanda’s economy by promoting trade and tourism between Rwanda and Chinese consumers.

Rwanda is the first eWTP partner in Africa.

The partnership between Rwanda and Alibaba Group will enable Rwandans in various ways like helping SMEs to sell their products, providing capacity building to empower the growth of Rwanda’s digital economy.

The launch was held at the Kigali Convention Centre and attended by Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame and founder of Alibaba Group Jack Ma.

Jack Ma told participants why he chose Rwanda while there are so many countries in Africa.

He said it is because the country is willing to embrace change and its example should be emulated by other African countries.

“People ask, ‘Why Rwanda? There are so many countries in Africa’. When I first came, I was shocked by its ability to embrace change. If every country was like Rwanda think how powerful could Africa be. My answer is, “Why not Rwanda?” he said.

He added that he is amazed by President Paul Kagame’s leadership, courage and vision.

“Every time I speak to him, we talk about technology, jobs, environment, and I am always so impressed. He makes things happen,” he revealed.

President Paul Kagame commenting on Ma’s remarks said, “What was important for me and impressive was when I met [Jack Ma] for the first time and we talked… when I requested him to come to Rwanda, together we find what we can do to not only improve the lives of Rwandans… I didn’t see any doubt on Jack’s face.”

He added that Jack Ma is a believer, and he decides what to believe, and in most cases he believes wisely. He said he is glad that Rwanda did not disappoint him.

Jack Ma noted that in the future, it will be “Made in Internet”, not “Made in China”, and urged the world to prepare because complaining doesn’t solve anything. He suggested building a system that supports developing countries and young people.

Meanwhile, Under the eWTP agreement, Alibaba Group will work with the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) to help Rwandan SMEs sell their products, including coffee and handicrafts, to Chinese consumers through Alibaba’s online marketplaces.

Alibaba Group travel services platform, Fliggy, and RDB will also work together to promote Rwanda as a tourist destination through a Rwanda Tourism Store for booking flights, hotels and travel experiences.

Alibaba Group is also committed to providing capacity building to academics, policy makers and entrepreneurs on how to grow a digital economy.

President Kagame concluded the meeting by reiterating that Rwanda greatly values a growing relationship with the Chinese private sector and Alibaba Group in particular.

He said the product being launched today is a tangible example of that, and one that we intend to build on for mutual benefit.

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