Jack Ma, the co-founder and former Chairman of Alibaba Group, a renowned e-commerce and technology firm, says he is in Nigeria because Nigeria’s vibrant young people and the 200 million strong market, excites him and should excite every entrepreneur with some vision.
He made this know while being received by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in his office at the presidential villa on Thursday, November 14 2019. Jack Ma, the richest entrepreneur in China said: “I think our team today realized our dreams meeting you. We flew 15 hours into Nigeria and we are excited. This trip is to try to understand Africa more. We came to Africa four years ago and our plan is to visit four, five countries in every trip“
“My personal target is to try and visit every country in Africa in 10 years and support Africa. Nigeria is a great country with a large population, very strong economy, excellent young people with excellent innovations. And this is a country“
Jack Ma said his and the team from China, who are also owners of their businesses want to help Africa through 4 Es. He said:
“We also want help through four Es in Africa. The first, E list is E-infrastructure – support internet connections to everybody. We hope that every young person, every small business should have access to the internet to do business anywhere, anytime.
“The second E is support entrepreneurs, this is very important. We think we can make entrepreneurs as the heroes of the African continent. In China, the entrepreneurs promote business development and government support entrepreneurs.
“The third is E-government, if government is on E, it will be very efficient, transparent, people will know government can help and government will know what the people want. The last and very important E is education“
He expressed confidence in Nigerian entrepreneurs and believe the visits by him and his delegation who are willing to support entrepreneurs can benefit Nigeria a great deal
“In the next few days we are going to have all the internet prize, everyone in Africa can apply for award. I am happy to know that four Nigerian entrepreneurs are among the top 10. We will have the final competition in two days and I think Nigerian entrepreneurs will have great result.
“This is just the beginning. Our job is to support entrepreneurs. Everyone in the delegation, we are all founders of our own businesses in China. We think what we have experienced in China can help African entrepreneurs develop, support e-infrastructure, e-governance, e-entrepreneurs and e-education and this is what we came here for“.
While addressing VP Osinbajo, Ma said “We will love to have advise and know government’s direction so that we can do a better job,”
In his remarks, Osinbajo said: “It was a pleasure receiving Jack Ma today at the office. Thank you for acknowledging Nigeria’s role in Africa and the world.
“By leading a team of investors to Nigeria, I hope you see as we do, investment opportunities in Africa’s digital economy, infrastructure and her people.”