Jack Ma, a prominent Chinese business magnet, arrived in Rwanda Thursday, joining a long list of top business leaders and industry captains from around the world who are in Kigali for the inaugural YouthConnekt Africa Summit.
Ma, who has been ranked the richest person in Asia and 14th richest person on earth, is the founder of Alibaba Group, China’s biggest e-Commerce firm.
The summit has attracted hundreds of young people from across the African continent, who will be listening to and interacting with successful business leaders and entrepreneurs like Ma, as they seek to break into the world of entrepreneurship.
The summit is a major opportunity for networking among participants, especially the youth.
The United Nations estimates that there are over 226 million people aged between 15-24 on the continent, making Africa the most youthful continent.
However, this has come with challenges, such as high unemployment rates currently estimated at about 60 per cent.
Besides the Chinese billionaire, other key personalities who will be engaging the youth at the summit include the African Development Bank chief Adesina Akinwumi, US singer and businessman Akon, former AfDB president Dr Donald Kaberuka, and Nigerian billionaire and business magnet Tonny Elumelu.
A financing facility is also expected to be launched during the summit to help finance innovative projects from African youth.
The YouthConnekt series started way back in 2012 as a national-level Rwandan initiative before it was replicated at the continental level.