Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce giant, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ethiopia, following the visit of its chairman Jack Ma in Ethiopia. The MoU is for Alibaba to establish an Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) hub in Ethiopia. The hub aims to facilitate cross-border trade, provide smart logistics and fulfillment services, assist Ethiopian small and micro enterprises (SMEs) reach global markets by providing smart logistics and services, and provide talent training.
An Alibaba-led multi-stakeholder global initiative, eWTP hub promotes public-private dialogue in order to support more inclusive global trade which uses technology and policy innovation to provide greater opportunities for SMEs, women, and youth.
Inking the agreement were Getahun Mekuria (Ph.D.), Ethiopia’s Minister of Innovation and Technology, and Eric Jink, Alibaba Group Director and Ant Financial Services Group Chairman and CEO. Presiding over the signing ceremony were Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Alibaba Group's Chairman Jack Ma.
Dr. Getahun said the opening of the Ethiopia eWTP hub is "an important step in the development of a digital economy in Ethiopia." He also said it will contribute greatly to "trade facilitation and open markets to SMEs not only in Ethiopia but [also] in the wider region."
Eric Jing, vowing Alibaba will "continue to support the creation of a more inclusive, digitally-enabled global economy, where small businesses can participate in global trade," he said they "look forward to working together with entrepreneurs and SMEs from Ethiopia and other African nations to seize the opportunities provided by the digital era.”
Jack Ma, for his part, remarked, he was "inspired" launching the platform in Ethiopia, given how the country is invested in digital technology.
The platform will support the country’s national digital transformation strategy, the Office of the Ethiopian Prime Minister tweeted.
The Electronic World Trade Platform will allow Ethiopia to trade its commodities via the Alibaba Group.
Sources: ENA, Africa News, FBC, The Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia (Twitter)
Image Source: The Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia (Twitter)