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Africa will drive the world’s next digital revolution — and governments, educators, venture capitalists, industry associations and incubators should work together to support tech entrepreneurs, argues Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
Writing in an opinion piece in the New York Times yesterday Ma said since his first visit to Africa two years ago the continent has continued to impress him.
“Each time I go, I come away more convinced that Africa’s entrepreneurs will write the future of the continent.
“The best way to help them is to support their growth and give them the tools I wish I had when I started my own entrepreneurial adventure,” he writes.
If all ecosystem players work together to support entrepreneurs, Africa will become a hub of innovation, argues Jack Ma in the New York Times
He argues that for the continent to prosper, four things are necessary — better support for entrepreneurs, a public service skilled in egovernment, education and training on digital skills and world class internet.
Writes Ma: “As my experience in China taught me, no entrepreneur can go it alone: There are important roles to play for government, educators, venture capitalists, industry associations and start-up incubators.
“If we all work together to support entrepreneurs, then Africa will become a hub of innovation and growth, the global leader we know it can be.”
Last month LifeBank, a Nigerian healthtech startup that delivers blood and other essential medical supplies to hospitals, was awarded $250 000 after it was named the winner of inaugural Africa Netpreneur Prize (see this story).
The prize is an initiative of Alibaba Group founder and former executive chairman Jack Ma and will award $10-million to 100 African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years. It aims to support small business growth, grassroots innovation and women founders (see this story).
Read more: Nigeria’s LifeBank scoops $250k in Jack Ma’s Africa Netpreneur Prize
Read more: Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative announces 10 finalists in running for share of $1m
Read more: Here’s all you need to know about Jack Ma’s Africa Netpreneur Prize
Read more: Jack Ma challenges Africans to seize opportunities, announces $10m prize
Read more: Yes, we’ve closed $200 000 EchoVC-led round confirms Nigerian startup LifeBank
Featured image: Alibaba Group chairperson Jack Ma engages with entrepreneurs from across Africa during the launch of the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative in Johannesburg in 2018 (Supplied)