Jack Ma Injects $10m to Boost Emerging Firms in Africa

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By William Buningwire

Chinese billionaire entrepreneur Jack Ma on Friday announced four projects to support African entrepreneurs, African young people and efforts of conservation in Africa.

Jack Ma, the founder and chief executive of Alibaba Group, Asia’s largest e-Commerce platform, has committed to invest in East Africa’s human capital to boost SME capacities.

Chinese Billionaire Jack Ma announced a $10 million enterprise fund to support emerging firms on the continent. He pledged that the initiative will start as soon as he puts together a team to oversee the fund.

Jack Ma said he wants to show his confidence in Africa and therefore pledged to invest in youth.

“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,” he said.

Jack Ma said he will invest $ 10 Million in the fund, and added, “I believe more people will come in to support the fund and make it bigger.”

Alibaba Group Holding Limited founded in 1999 is a Chinese e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals.

The Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, said Ma’s support will go a long way in supporting the development of local e-Commerce sector as well as job creation.

In his second project – Jack Ma has awarded 200 African young entrepreneurs internships at Alibaba headquarters with the purpose of gaining experience in fields including; e-commerce, Artificial intelligence and Internet.

Jack Ma also announced a partnership between Alibaba and Paradise Foundation of china –According to the Jack Ma this project will deal with promoting and supporting environmental conservation efforts in Africa especially protecting elephants and other precious animals

The Asian billionaire committed to annually award 50 outstanding park rangers for the next 10 years in support of wildlife conservation efforts on the continent.

He noted the investments and support are not profit-oriented but geared at boosting job creation.

The three-day summit was organized by the government of Rwanda, UNCTAD and United Nations Development Program. The summit is dubbed “Realizing Africa’s Youth Potential.”

The summit attracted over 3,000 participants including top executives from multinational companies, leaders of civil society organizations, Africa’s development partners, members of the academia and youth entrepreneurs.




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