The founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Jack Ma visited the Youth Connekt Africa Summit in Rwanda last week and announced his $10 million African Young Entrepreneurs Fund, meant for the continent’s techpreneurs. “I want that fund supporting African online businesses. The money is set. This is my money, so I don’t have to get anybody’s approval,” Ma said. Asia’s richest man, who is worth $35 billion, said the fund would begin operations this year and would help bring 200 budding Africans to China to learn from Alibaba. “I want them to go to China, meeting our people, seeing all the things we have been doing, all the great ideas China has,” he said. He said he would liaise with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), where he works as Special Adviser for Youth Entrepreneurship and Small Business, on this initiative. Ma plans to roll out a partnership with African universities to teach internet technology, artificial intelligence and e-commerce. Speaking on this opportunity Mukhisa Kituyi, secretary-general of UNCTAD, said: “African entrepreneurs should not be asking successful businesses, ‘How can I distribute your products?’ “Africans should be saying, ‘I have an idea I want to grow; how can you help me to grow it? How can you help me market it?” Ma is the founder of $231 billion Alibaba, an e-commerce platform set up in 1999. ODINAKA ANUDU The post Alibaba opens $10m opportunity for tech start-ups appeared first on BusinessDay : News you can trust .
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