Ethiopia has entered into a partnership with the Jack Ma Foundation to inaugurate a global trade platform on Monday.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Chinese e-commerce tycoon Jack Ma inaugurated the e-WTP.
The billionaire entrepreneur arrived in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa earlier on Monday on a business visit.
Speaking at the e-WTP launch, Jack Ma said: “This is the beginning that Africa can compete with Europe and America.”
“In the past, we believed in big; for the future we believe in small; small is beautiful,” he said, noting that e-trading platforms motivate small and medium scale enterprises.
“In the past, the world was divided into developed and developing nations; in the future this will change to whether you are e-country or not e-country,” he added.
He also pledged $100 million to support entrepreneurship in Ethiopia.
Abiy Ahmed said Ethiopia is transforming itself into a digital economy.
Two other memoranda of understanding (MOU) were signed on Monday for capacity building and a comprehensive digital hub.
Ethiopia’s Minister of Innovation Getachew Mekuria recalled that the e-WTP was Chinese e-commerce giant Ali Baba’s offshoot born in 2016 to benefit small and micro enterprises and disadvantaged groups such as women.
The new platform will facilitate the flow of goods across boundaries, e-commerce, retail and wholesale trading in addition to helping Ethiopian youths acquire training in digital skills.