EDITORIAL: The coming of Alibaba bound to bring new opportunities

The logo of Alibaba Group is seen at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. (Net photo)

This year’s YouthConnekt Summit is on its third day with the over 2,500 participants from all over Africa sitting through motivational talks and receiving first-hand guidance on how they can be empowered to transform the continent and themselves.

Last year they had a very pleasant guest in the person of Jack Ma, the man behind Alibaba. Apart from sharing with them the secret of his success, he also announced a $10 million fund to help young African entrepreneur navigate through the business world.

Alibaba is an iconic name with a far reach, a situation that did not escape the attention of the country’s leadership. That is why they chose to enter into a partnership with Alibaba. According to media reports,  Jack Ma is expected in Rwanda at the end of the month to set in motion the new partnership.

Among the new areas of cooperation are tourism and financial services. Last year there were a series of tongue-wagging when ‘Visit Rwanda’ entered into a partnership with Arsenal Football Club. Many opponents have still not yet recovered from that stroke of genius.

They should brace themselves now for more shocks as ‘Visit Rwanda’ is expanding to Alibaba where it will be advertised on its websites, thereby attracting not only the huge Chinese tourism traffic but even beyond.

Another important deal that will be inked at the end of the month is introducing Alibaba’s electronic payment system. The surest bet will be Alipay that links over half a billion users and still rising. Going by the impact the YouthConnekt concept is having on young local tech-preneurs, and the fact that it has been adopted by eight other African countries, there is no doubt that the Rwanda-Alibaba partnership will take  local tourism and the ICT sectors to new levels.