Alibaba Founder Jack Ma addressed South African entrepreneurs at the event entitled, “Netrepreneurs: The Rise of Africa’s Digital Lions” that was jointly organized by Alibaba Business School, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Jack Ma Foundation at the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 8 August 2018.

Across Africa, eCommerce platforms flanked by payments, logistics, tourism and big data partners are starting to lift national economies. During the event, thought leaders debated about the challenges and opportunities facing a new digital Africa and the role that the public sector, investors, entrepreneurs and educational organizations can play in this transformation.

The event covered the following topics:
• The Creators of a New Economy: Constructing Digital Businesses
Young African entrepreneurs shared their journeys and discussed the challenges of developing a new kind of business on the continent.
• Governments and Policymakers: Nurturing Innovation in the Digital Economy
A regional and country perspective was given on the role of the public sector in providing a conducive environment for innovation.
• Access to Capital: Fueling Transformation Through Investment
Business leaders examined how best to allocate capital in a dynamic and challenging market.
• Digital Talents: Enabling youth to Power the New Economy
Skill development experts debated on how educational institutions, incubators, training programmes and other models can educate and train the new generation to achieve impact and economic success.
• The Jack Ma Africa Netrepreneur Prize Announcement
The launch of the Africa Netrepreneur Prize to support exemplary young internet leaders.
• Ways forward for a Digital Africa
Eminent personalities shared their vision for a dynamic continent where a globalized digital economy enables small and medium-sized enterprises and young entrepreneurs.