Africa offers full opportunities - Jack Ma as he pledges $10million to help African Netpreneurs. - Techcrest


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Jack Ma who recently visited Africa came with a plan. The Alibaba founder was in Johannesburg South Africa earlier this week, where he launched Netpreneur prize, a $10 million  competition prize for African tech innovators. This price was administered through Ma’s foundation, the $10million Netpreneur prize is meant to “further [Africa’s] digital economy through local entrepreneurship.”
Jack Ma regrets that it took him this long to visit Africa(he visited Africa for the first time in 2017), but choose to make it up by supporting young African entrepreneurs.
“This is where I see Africa, full of problems, but full of opportunities,” Ma said in an auditorium at the University of the Witwatersran.
China’s investment in Africa has long invited debate on the motivations of either side’s embrace of the other. Books, documentaries and thousands of think-pieces have been produced, scrutinizing the factors in this relationship , from raw materials to few regulations, and just who gets to benefit. There are no easy answers, but Ma’s speech captured what is perhaps the simplest factor encouraging this relationship: that Africa could be what China is today.
Alibaba's ascent implies China's, and the capability of African business visionaries. As an educator, Ma established Alibaba in a confined apartment in Hangzhou. They couldn't discover builders  and they could barely  raise a capital, Ma told the group. Researchers composing the Alibaba contextual analysis rejected the organization when contrasting it with any semblance of eBay.
Of course, Alibaba’s growth wasn’t as simple as Ma’s motivation suggests, but it tells the story of a digital company built in an adverse environment, not unlike Africa’s nascent digital economy today. With the right vision and hard work, said Ma, you could have ten Alibabas in Africa: “Doesn’t have to be $500 billion, $50 billion is fine.”
“This continent is very simple, if you’ve been to Europe you know how complicated it is, they want too much,” Ma said, referring to the developed world’s laws and regulations. “Here you have nothing to change.”
Africa's  most vital asset is its youngsters, which is the reason Jack Ma was anxious to share that he'd called South Africa's leader Cyril Ramaphosa to urge him to help youthful startup visionaries. In any case, sitting tight for the government to make the ideal business condition will end up in futility. “We startups,” Ma said without irony, just need an open environment and trust to create jobs. Degrees from schools like Harvard and MIT weren’t necessary either: “Those are the white collar guys, they’ll never be entrepreneurs,” Ma said to rousing applause.
Furthermore, in a couple of years, when African startups have accomplished this potential Ma so much has faith in, Alibaba will be there. All they'd require is a little 0.1% he stated, ending his speech with an overwhelming applause.

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Isaac Somto

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