Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Jack Ma makes Rwanda the first step of his African conquest

The e-commerce platform (eWTP) of the Chinese giant Alibaba has great ambitions in Africa. The first stage of this conquest of the continent was launched on October 31 in Kigali. It will offer Rwandan entrepreneurs the opportunity to offer their products and services to more than 500 million potential Chinese customers.
The first African hub of the Alibaba Group’s global e-commerce platform (eWTP) will open the doors of Alibaba Group’s cross-border marketplaces to micro, small, medium and large Rwandan companies, on which Chinese consumers are making their research to find quality products from around the world. “The Global Electronic Commerce Platform opens new frontiers for e-commerce in Rwanda, and will also boost the capacity and competitiveness of our entrepreneurs and business actors. Rwandan producers will be able to make direct sales to a much wider consumer base than before, while bypassing expensive intermediaries. This improves productivity and profitability. There is really no negative point in doing business on a global scale, “said Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame.

Multiple benefits

The population of Rwanda is around 12.3 million. It represents 1 / 40th of the volume of potential Chinese consumers to which it now gives access to Alibaba. In financial terms, this collaboration represents a multi-billion dollar market opening in Rwanda. It should be noted that this collaboration between Alibaba Group and Rwanda is timely because it aligns with China’s willingness to further open its market and increase its imports. In front of an audience of world leaders gathered on November 5, 2018, at the opening of the first Shanghai Imports Fair, Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, assured that his country would “encourage the advent of a world-class trading environment. “. He stressed that the “door of China will never close, it will open more”.

In 2017, while Rwanda was already seeing the first fruits of its “Smart Rwanda” ambition, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, on a working visit from March 21 to 22, congratulated the country for its efforts. ICT in order to diversify its economy and ensure national development. The head of the international institution called on other African countries to draw inspiration from the way in which Rwanda has embraced ICTs to achieve its growth objectives.

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