Alibaba Group and Rwanda further extend partnership
Alibaba Group and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) signed an updated memorandum of understanding (MOU) – agreeing to continue last year's eWTP partnership for another 3 years, import additional Rwandan products to China, as well as launch a four-year training program for Rwandan students to learn cross-border e-commerce.
The signing ceremony took place at the China(Zhejiang)-Rwanda Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Forum, attended by the Governor of Zhejiang Province, CEO of the RDB, Rwanda Minister of MINICOM, and SMEs from Zhejiang Province and Rwanda.
Under the extended partnership, Alibaba Business School will start an undergraduate program that will train students in International Business and Cross-Border eCommerce to support cross-border e-commerce in the country. 22 Rwandan students will be headed to Alibaba’s hometown of Hangzhou, China to begin their 4-year program later in September. In addition, Alibaba's New Retail-powered supermarket chain, Freshippo, also signed a memorandum with the RDB, agreeing to import Rwandan chili to its 150 self-operated stores in China.
As a regional pioneer with a vision to create a world-class digital infrastructure, Rwanda was the first country in Africa to establish an eWTP hub to promote its economy through increased cross-border trade, capacity building and tourism. The eWTP is a multi-stakeholder global initiative to enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in cross-border electronic trade.
So far, more than 40 Rwandan entrepreneurs have received training from the eFounders’ Fellowship Program and Netpreneur Training Program led by Alibaba Business School. Alibaba Business School’s New Economy Workshop has also hosted 12 Rwandan government delegates from different ministries and departments.
In addition, Rwandan coffee makers, many of them Netpreneur alumni, have successfully connected their businesses to China’s 700+ million consumers through Tmall Global, Alibaba’s cross-border B2C platform, and has increased sales of high quality Rwandan coffee to China by 700%.
“We are hoping that through our continuous effort, cross-sector synergy and public-private collaboration will be cultivated through the respective programs and will continue to drive actions towards the goal of an inclusive digital economy”, said Brian Wong, Vice President of Global Initiatives, Alibaba Group.