One of Asia’s richest men and the co-founder of Alibaba, Chinese e-commerce giant, Jack Ma, is in Nigeria with other Chinese investors to explore business.
“I think our team today realised 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,” said Ma as he was welcome into Aso Villa, Nigeria’s seat of power in Abuja by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo.
Jack Ma’s visit is part of government’s plans to “promote technological innovation amongst young people” in Nigeria said a statement by the Nigerian government that also indicated that the vice president facilitated the visit of the e-commerce guru.
Ma, who is touted as one of the globe’s iconic entrepreneurs, said he was in Nigeria in pursuit of the four Es for which he set for himself to accomplish in Africa.
“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 African continent. In China, 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,” said Ma as he took the vice president through talks on why the country must support entrepreneurs and rework how engagement engage with citizens.
“Our jobs is to support entrepreneurs. Everyone in the delegation, we are all founders of our own businesses in China. We think our experience in China can help Africa entrepreneurs develop, support e-infrastructure, e-governance, e-entrepreneurs and e-education and this is what we came here for, added Ma.
Osinbajo thanked Ma for venturing into the continent and particularly Nigeria as he told Ma and his team of the vast opportunities available in Nigeria’s technology sector.
“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,” said the vice president while he assured the investors of Nigeria’s government support.
“This is exciting time for us and we are really happy that you are here and I know the young people and lots of businesses and entrepreneurs are looking forward to your interaction with them later today.
“So, the potential is tremendous, it is an incredible potential that we have. So, we are at a point, and your coming is very strategic, in our trajectory and in the progress of our country.
“I think, it is a very important moment and what we are seeing – a lot of entrepreneurship, a lot of young people who are very actively engaged in the digital economy at various levels,” added Osinbajo.