South Africa is pushing for Alibaba to invest in its digital economy

World Today

When South African President Cyril Ramaphosa left the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, he headed to Hangzhou. That’s where the tech giant Alibaba is headquartered. Ramaphosa wants to encourage Alibaba to invest in South Africa.

CGTN’s Wu Lei filed this report.

Before heading back to South Africa, President Ramaphosa led a delegation of ministers and officials to visit tech giant, Alibaba Group. He invited Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma to help his country with its digital economic development.

“I would like you to come to South Africa, help us set up a training center on e-commerce,” Ramaphosa said.

Ma visited three African countries just last month. He said Africa is a land full of opportunities and hope. Alibaba recently launched a $10 million, Netpreneur Prize in Africa. It’s a new program created to support and fund African entrepreneurs working to further its digital economy.

“Today Africa’s infrastructure is not perfect, not good, but that is the opportunity. So this is what we believe, because it is poor, there is a chance for you to jump. We are confident in Africa, we think the entrepreneurs, the young people, all the things to do, we should start to do now.

During the FOCAC summit, China and African countries set detailed guidelines for cooperation and development in the coming years. Digital platforms are expected to play a key role in boosting multilateral trade.

“In our case, South Africa wants to sell more value-added products, because China is such a good partner in this. They have welcomed this, and precisely what they say is they want to work with us, they want to enable all of us to win,” Ramaphosa said.

South Africa is one of the continent’s most developed countries in terms of Internet infrastructure. Its president hopes Alibaba and other Chinese tech giants will seize the chance and boost their e-commerce growth.