- Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba, in Nigeria
Jack Ma, the founder of the world’s largest e-commerce company Alibaba and the Chinese richest man, arrived Nigeria on Thursday with a large delegation of Chinese investors.
The billionaire said he was in the country to honour the invitation extended to him by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, in Davos, Switzerland earlier this year.
“I think our team today realised our dreams of meeting you. We flew 15 hours into Nigeria and we are excited. This trip is to try to understand Africa more. We came to Africa four years ago and our plan is to visit four or five countries in every trip,” Ma stated as he met Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa in Abuja on Thursday.
Ma, who recently retired from Alibaba to focus on philanthropy and his first job, education, expressed the desire to invest in Nigeria and Africa at large.
He highlighted four key areas of interest using ‘Four Es’:
Jack Ma will be speaking at a two-day summit titled ‘Leveraging Digital Economy for Trade & Investment’ organised by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, said “Technology, trade, and investment are inextricably linked in a digital economy.”
Speaking on Jack Ma’s visit, Vice President Osinbajo, said: “This is an exciting time for us and we are really happy that you are here and I know the young people and lots of businesses and entrepreneurs are looking forward to your interaction with them later today.
“So, the potential is tremendous, it is an incredible potential that we have. So, we are at a point, and your coming is very strategic, in our trajectory and in the progress of our country.
“I think, it is a very important moment and what we are seeing – a lot of entrepreneurship, a lot of young people who are very actively engaged in the digital economy at various levels.”
While this is not the first time the billionaire is visiting Africa, this is the first he will be visiting Nigeria and now join the list of prominent tech founders who have visited Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria.
This week alone, Nigeria has welcomed the co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey and Jack Ma, the 19th richest man in the world.
Jack Ma’s net worth has risen by $6.08 billion to $42.5 billion year-to-date.