TechInAfrica – Alibaba Group, represented by the Executive Chairman, Jack Ma has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Rwanda. The MoU talks about the establishment of eWTP (Electronic World Trade Platform) hub in the region. Furthermore, the agreement is purposed to support the development of the economy in Rwanda through the promotion of policy innovation which enables Rwandan products to be delivered to China, the alleviation of Tourism in Rwanda, as well as the establishment of capacity to encourage Rwanda digital economic growth.
Through the implementation of eWTP, Rwanda will become the first African country to create the world-class infrastructure. The eWTP promotes a dialog between public and private sector to create more efficient and effective regulation and business ecosystem to encourage SMEs to take part in the cross-border electronic trade.
“The Electronic World Trade Platform opens up new frontiers in e-commerce and tourism for Rwanda, and will also boost the capacity and competitiveness of our entrepreneurs and businesspeople,” said the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame commented on the program. “Rwandan producers will be able to sell directly to a much larger set of customers than before while bypassing costly intermediaries. This improves productivity and profitability. There really are no downsides to doing business on a global scale,” he added.
Expressing his feeling about the project, the Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma said: “I am delighted that Rwanda is the first eWTP partner in Africa, and I look forward to the development of an innovative digital economy here. Entrepreneurs in Rwanda, and elsewhere in Africa, are ready to seize the opportunities offered by the digital economy. It is up to all of us to help them succeed.”
Alibaba Group will work with Rwanda Development Board (RDB), enabling Rwandan SMEs market their products to Chinese consumers through Alibaba’s online e-commerce app. Alibaba has become the largest online market in the world with over 1.5 billion Chinese users. On the Alibaba online marketplace, consumers can find high-quality products from all over the world.
Meanwhile, to promote tourism in Rwanda, Alibaba will provide travel service platform called Fliggy to enables Chinese users to book flights, hotel, and travel experiences using Rwanda Tourism Store. Moreover, through a Destination Pavilion, Chinese users are able to know more about the country by watching video contents provided on the platform.
In order to support the growth of the digital economy in Rwanda, the Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial will also share financial tools like mobile payments.
Speaking of the partnership with Alibaba Group, the Chief Executive Officer of RDB, Clare Akamanzi stated: “The partnership between Rwanda and Alibaba will change people’s lives for the better. We are committed to leveraging the digital economy to support our exporters, local producers, and artisans. We have already seen tremendous attention from Chinese consumers on Alibaba‘s platforms in high-quality Rwandan products such as our top-tier single estate coffee, and we are confident that local products and travel experiences will continue to receive interest and support from the more than half a billion consumers on Alibaba’s platforms.”
Alibaba Group has also planned to provide capacity building in order to grow a digital economy. The capacity building is aimed at academics, policy-makers, and entrepreneurs. To support this, Alibaba has offered a five-day course called the Global E-commerce Talent Program (GET). Moreover, Alibaba also runs programs, including eFounders Fellowship to keep supporting Rwandan entrepreneurs. Through the partnership with UNCTAD, Alibaba Group is going to give a five-years training to over 1,000 entrepreneurs from emerging market.
For further information about the MoU and Alibaba’s programs in Africa, you can visit: