Africa welcomes Alibaba Tycoon Jacky Ma

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Kenya welcomes the richest man in Asia, Mr Jacky Ma, chairman of Chinese giant online shopping platform Alibaba .com, he is to arrive today for a two-day visit in Nairobi today.

Ma, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development special adviser for young entrepreneurs and small business is on a three day visit to Africa from July 19 to 21.

The tycoon will grace the Youth Connekt Africa Summit in Rwanda, “Realizing Africa’s youth potential” conference will bring together 1,500 participants including government officials, entrepreneurs, investors, multinationals, and startups shaping the African technological ecosystem to discuss methods of using technology to drive Africa’s economic growth.

“He brings to the continent a visionary approach to entrepreneurship, a thirst for learning, and a belief in a better world for young people,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said in a statement.

Mr Ma is worth Sh3.11 trillion(nearly half of Kenya’s economic output), he will share entrepreneurial insights with young people in his capacity as special advisor for youth entrepreneurship and small businesses to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Mr Ma will make the presentations to 500 young business leaders at the University of Nairobi.

“UNCTAD will work with Mr Ma to explore opportunities with local businesses to participate in global trade,” said a brief from UNCTAD ahead of the visit.

Mr Ma has been urging developing countries to look to e-commerce to bolster their economies, instead of creating regulations and taxes that could kill the emerging sector in its infancy.

“We should not discipline the baby before even it is born,” Mr Ma told a gathering in Geneva during UNCTAD’s annual E-Commerce Week convention recently.

UNCTAD will work with Ma to explore opportunities with local businesses to participate in global trade, raise awareness about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and attend the Youth Connekt Africa Summit.