Jack Ma, the founder of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, pledged on Thursday to promote an inclusive digital economy in Africa.
In a meeting with Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja, Ma said he and his team will support local entrepreneurs and promote the efficiency that the digital economy provides in Africa.
“We want to make entrepreneurs the heroes of the African continent,” Ma said at the meeting, which was attended by other senior Nigerian officials.
He pledged to bring to the benefit of Nigeria his idea of the “4-Es,” e-Infrastructure, e-Entrepreneur, e-Government, and e-Education.
“In the next few days, we are going to have an African e-Entrepreneur prize,” Ma said. “All the African countries can apply for our awards.”
Osinbajo, for his part, said that apart from the huge population, there are abundant opportunities in Nigeria’s digital economy.
“I think you will find a very energetic, very creative group of young men and women who are increasingly getting interested in entrepreneurship, especially digital entrepreneurship, and I am happy to see that you have a good group of businesses from China,” the vice president said.
A lot of local entrepreneurs are already actively engaged in the digital economy, Osinbajo said.
Before leaving Abuja, Ma participated in the Nigeria Digital Economy Summit, where he interacted with the country’s tech start-ups and digital entrepreneurs.
He is expected to visit Ghana and Togo, two west African countries, to promote his digital economy initiative.